The Congress Party on Tuesday hit out at the Narendra Modi government saying in the last three years there was little progress and development in the country. Addressing a press conference following a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), senior party leader and Member of Parliament Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Modi government was a hero when it came to being on television, but zero in reality. “Ye sirf naaron aur publicity ki sarkar hai, jo TV pe toh hero dikhti hai par zameeni kaamon mein zero hai (This is a government of slogans and publicity… on TV they look like heroes but on the ground, they are zero),” Azad said, adding that the government has only managed to create ‘fear’ in the last three years.
Following the meeting, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi said vital political issues including the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, the government’s mishandling of the economy, the upcoming presidential polls and the INC organisation elections were discussed.
Addressing the meeting, party president Sonia Gandhi commented on the current political situation saying, “The Modi government has just completed three years in office. Where there was harmony, there is discord. Where there was tolerance, there is provocation. Where there was relative calm, as in Kashmir, there is growing confrontation, tension and fear. Where there was economic potential, there is stagnation. Where there was rich diversity, there is a brazen campaign to strait-jacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world-view.”
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The CWC meeting at Sonia Gandhi’s residence was attended by senior Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni and Janardan Dwiwedi. The CWC is the highest decision-making body of the party.
She added, “The systematic attempt to blunt tools of accountability, undermine the judiciary and suppress dissent, serves this Government the larger purpose of concealing corruption. Cronies and individuals close to the establishment have either seen the dramatic increase in wealth and influence in the last three years or have escaped the wrath of the law and managed to flee the country.”
On J&K, Sonia Gandhi said, “The crisis has come to represent the colossal failure of this government. A divisive agenda is being followed which has undone years of goodwill and progress. It is imperative that the government correct its flawed approach, restore normalcy to regain the trust of the people.” She added that a small group of people, under the leadership of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, is keeping abreast of the situation in the state.
Commenting on the economic situation, Manmohan Singh said, “India’s economic growth has slowed down sharply, driven primarily by the notebandi announcement of November 2016. Private sector investment has collapsed and the economy is running on just one engine of public spending.” He added that the most worrisome aspect was its impact on job creation. “Jobs have been extremely hard to come by for the youth of the nation. The construction industry which was one of the largest employment generators in the country has suffered a contraction. This implies loss of millions of jobs for the nation’s workplace.”