As the Narendra Modi government celebrated the completion of its second year in office Thursday, the Congress launched an all-out counter offensive with its top leaders addressing press conferences in 27 cities. It lashed out at the Modi government for being a “complete failure” and for “thriving just on advertisements”. The opposition party also dared the Prime Minister and his ministers for a debate on the government’s performance.
“The biggest achievement of the government is creation of social tension, provocative statements by MPs, MLAs and ministers and now Governors of the Sangh Parivar, unnecessary controversy on food habits, crackdown on universities, shrinking space of democratic dissent, mob violence, fear among minorities, SCs and STs….abuse of Governor’s office, undermining the authority of Parliament and toppling of elected governments,” said Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.
While claiming that the Modi government had failed in reviving the economy, he said that the return of black money had remained a hollow promise and there was no investigation happening into the Panama disclosures.
“Rural distress is at its peak, agricultural production is low, farmer suicides have become order of the day, there is no compensation for crop loss and no hike in minimum support price for foodgrains… This government is all about renaming and repackaging schemes…They cannot conceive any schemes. They are masters of renaming and repacking and advertising,” said Azad at a joint press conference in Delhi along with party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Kapil Sibal and Randeep Surjewala.
Mocking the BJP’s ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ slogan, Kharge said: “The country is now asking ‘kiska saath, kahan hai vikas’.”
Former Union minister Kapil Sibal said that according to statistics, PM Modi delivered a speech every 45 hours, but “never answered the burning questions”.
“What is his foreign policy? His policy vis-à-vis Pakistan is blow hot, blow cold. Those who carried out the attack in Pathankot were invited to Pathankot. When they were in opposition, they used to say rupee is on ventilator. Where is the rupee now?… What are they celebrating?… Sensex was 8,000 points when Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister in 2004, it touched 24,000 when he left office in 2014. Where is the Sensex now…25,600…Sensex has gone up 2 per cent and rupee has dived 16 per cent…This is their achievement..How many jobs have they created? In 2015-16, just 1.34 lakh new jobs were created as against his (Modi’s) promise of creation of 2 crore jobs every year,” he said.
Sibal ridiculed the government saying it was “fraudulently dynamic and dynamically fraudulent”. “Manmohan Singh used to speak less, but his work used to speak for him… He (Modi) keeps on speaking, but his work does not speak… I am challenging the Modi government, I am challenging Modi or any of the ministers of his government…let us debate on your achievements,” he said.
The Congress also came out with a short film to highlight the Modi government’s ‘failures’.