Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that the economy is on firm footing and said he was "dreaming".
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that the economy is on firm footing and said he was “dreaming”. Addressing party workers in his Lok Sabha constituency here, he said the GDP has fallen by two per cent in one go and lakhs of people have become jobless. Gandhi also took a dig at the “56-inch chest” remark of Modi, saying, “Our Manmohan Singh did not have 56 inch chest but had done a lot of work like bringing MNREGA, loan waiver, right to information (RTI) and right to food.”
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said, “the BJP government has completed three-and-a-half years and has only one-and-a-half years left. The prime minister should work now for employment generation and for farmers.” The Congress leader also appeared to be critical of the bullet train project, saying, “Had rupees one lakh crore been used to improve the railway line, station or freight train, the country would have benefitted but Modiji is only interested in gimmicks.” On the second day of his three-day visit here, he asked Congress workers to question RSS on the raging issues like unemployment and farmers suicide.
A day after Modi said the economy was on firm footing, Gandhi said, “Don’t know what track he is talking about and what is he dreaming of… economists, newspapers, shopkeepers say that he has spoiled the economy but he says that it is on the right track… he is not ready to hear anyone.” Modi, while lashing out at critics of his economic policies, had said yesterday that he will never jeopardise the country’s future for immediate gains and that his government will continue reforms to reverse the GDP slowdown witnessed in the last two quarters. “Farmers are committing suicide, only 450 (people) get employment, economy has been damaged, still long speeches are being delivered,” Gandhi said.
Referring to the demonetisation decision announced on November 8 last year, Gandhi claimed that it was brought without consulting anyone. “Had he (Modi) asked, no one would have advised,” he contended. “The same was done on GST,” he said, adding that Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram had said that the GST was the Congress’ idea “but you have not understood it … do not bring five different slabs.” He went on to add, “Running a government and making false and hollow promises are two different things and today the entire country is aware of it.”
Talking about unemployment, he said India’s competition is with China but in that country, 50,000 youth get jobs everyday while in India only 450 get employemt. “This is Modi’s ‘make-up India’,” Gandhi said. He alleged that “the BJP people sometime talk of temple, Hindu-Muslim or Jat non-Jat and of dividing the nation.” Apparently referring to the bullet train project of the NDA government, he said rupees one lakh crore loan has been taken from Japan and the ticket between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will be Rs 4000. He told the party workers that “as soon as RSS people start talking” they should be asked what has been done regarding employment and farmers’ suicide.
“You ask them these questions ….you have given jobs to only 450 people, in every state farmers are committing suicide, economy has been spoiled, note ban has snatched jobs from crores of youth crores, 150 people have died, the businesses of small and middle traders have suffered losses,” he told the workers. Gandhi said that unlike BJP and RSS, everyone in Congress can speak up and express their views. “BJP ministers sit silently watching Modi’s speeches and ‘mann ki baat’ but the ‘mann ki baat’ of BJP ministers and MPs cannot reach Modiji’,” he said taking a dig.
“In Congress, however, we want that whatever is in your heart you should express… There are some noises, some get irritated but this is our home and family, If we do not speak here, where will we speak,” he said. “All Congress leaders and workers listen and make schemes and programmes accordingly while in RSS people listen to their heart and make programmes and only then country get to know what note ban is,” he said. The Congress leader also promised to hold interactive programmes with party workers periodically and termed them the backbone of the party.