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India election

India's opposition pledges $52bn in handouts to woo Modi voters

Gandhi's bold 'final assault' on poverty draws mixed response from economists

Rahul Gandhi, president of India's main opposition Congress party, addresses his party's supporters during a public meeting in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India on March 12.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The "final assault" on poverty has begun, declared Rahul Gandhi, the leader of India's main opposition party the Indian National Congress.

Gandhi this week promised to hand out a total of 3.6 trillion rupees ($52 billion) annually to tens of millions of the vast nation's poorest people, in a bold bid to claw back ground on Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of general elections in the world's biggest democracy.

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