WHY INDIANS SHOULD VOTE FOR THE CONGRESS/UPA
- The country has benefited from five years of stable, responsible, mature and effective leadership at a turbulent time in the region's, and the world's, history.
- The Govt's stewardship of the economy through a 5-year period marked by a serious global economic downturn, record fuel prices, a worldwide food crisis and a near-collapse of the Western financial system has been exemplary. Indians have been successfully buffered against the worst of the shocks, and there is no danger of a recession.
- The Congress' focus on development has paid significant dividends. The Govt has managed 8 to 9 % growth for most of its tenure while never forgetting the bottom 25% of the population. About 1 crore people have been pulled above the poverty line each year despite global economic constraints. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has measurably changed the lives of millions.
- The Congress has proved to be a trusted guardian of India's democracy. The Right to Information Act, the scrapping of POTA, the protection given to minority voices, and the safeguarding of citizens' rights through a number of govt policies in such areas as women's empowerment and Panchayati Raj make the Congress the best bulwark of pluralist democracy against the forces of intolerance, bigotry against minorities and oppression of women.
- The Govt has held India's head high in the world by conducting a courageous, independent and realistic foreign policy. The Indo-US nuclear deal was a stunning accomplishment which ended decades of nuclear apartheid against India. The transformation of our relations with the US has brought the Indian people concrete economic benefits. The burgeoning trade with China shows that we have been able to prevent any serious conflict with our powerful northern neighbour. We have managed a difficult situation in our neighbourhood despite serious internal problems for all our neighbours. Our measured and restrained response to the Mumbai attacks in November, resisting calls for military action, have begun delivering results. The Congress is better at managing India's place in the world than any other party would be.
- The Congress successfully held a coalition govt together for a full five-year term, while ruling with effectiveness. It can be trusted to do so again, whereas any other combination will guarantee short-lived, opportunistic and weak governance, which the country can ill afford.