Congress Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Modi government on its celebrations marking two years in office, asking what was there to celebrate when the country is facing a severe agrarian crisis and numerous other problems.
The party came out with a 59-page booklet titled ‘Pragati Ki Tham Gayi Chaal, Do Saal, Desh Ka Bura Hal’ (The pace of progress has stopped. Two years and the nation’s bad plight) accusing the government of “systematic attack on institutions, icons and inclusiveness.”
Claiming the booklet to be ‘Sachchaai Ka Aaina’ (Mirror of Reality), AICC trained its guns on the NDA dispensation on a wide range of issues including economy, employment, price rise and foreign policy.
Dismissing the government’s claims on performance on completion of two years in office, the party said, “Dull and dark shadow crept over India in the last two years.” “As the second year of the Modi government draws to a close, sadly there is little to celebrate,” it said.
“Muscled thugs impose their ideas of morality and lynch mobs kill people on mere suspicion. BJP leaders spew venomous messages of hate and violence to question the patriotism of every Indian who disagrees with them,” it said.
Attacking the Centre over its handling of the economy, former finance minister P Chidambaram asked it to pluck up courage to go for bold reforms, saying the party will engage with the government if it means business. “Once the economy stabilised as I believe it had by June 2014, the government should have then given the economy a big push by going for bold structural reforms, taken the difficult the decisions which were pending because UPA did not have absolute majority in the Lok Sabha,” he told reporters in Delhi.
In Mumbai, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “I don’t understand what the celebrations are for when the entire country is going through an agrarian crisis.” “There’s no reason for this government to celebrate,” the former Union minister said, adding they (Modi government) have not done anything for the farmers. “During 2015, altogether 3,228 farmers in Maharashtra ended their lives due to agrarian crisis and the BJP-led government has ignored plight of farmers,” he alleged.
In Indore, Congress general secretary C P Joshi took a potshot at the Narendra Modi-led NDA regime, saying even after completing two years in office, the Prime Minister was in an “electioneering mode.”
“When Prime Minister visits non-BJP ruled states, he tries to dwarf the chief ministers of such states. The responsibility of Prime Minister is to take the country ahead with the help of chief ministers of all the states,” the former Union minister added. “Modi should realise that he is the country’s Prime Minister, not a prime ministerial candidate,” he said.
The opposition party went hammer and tongs at the Modi dispensation over its role in Congress-ruled Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and accused it of “murder of democracy and subversion of federalism.” With the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections due in 2017, the party also tried to paint the Modi government as “anti-Dalit” citing remarks by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat last year on caste-based reservation.
The party alleged that Modi and his government are “surreptitiously following the RSS agenda” through its actions and policies including “systematic withdrawal of schemes for SCs/STs/BCs and by imposing budgetary cuts.”
Claiming that inflation has increased under the Modi government, Sibal, who has been nominated by the party for the Rajya Sabha, said, “Prices are increasing all over. There is no employment for youth.” “While in opposition, BJP opposed GST and Modi, then the Gujarat chief minister, was at the forefront in opposing GST. Now the same Modi wants it (GST),” he said. Sibal also claimed BJP opposed the Aadhaar card scheme while in opposition but now the Modi government schemes are based on that.
Joshi said the NDA government has failed to bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks as promised by Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign. The NDA government is “weakening democracy by not recognising the autonomy of judiciary and constitution institutions.” Hitting back at the BJP for its ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ slogan, Joshi expressed confidence that his party will bounce back to power in the 2019 general elections and the country will become “Modi Mukt” (free from Modi).
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