AS CONGRESS organised a protest in Lucknow on Friday, the party alleged that only “atrocities, excesses, hunger and unemployment” have increased during three years of Modi government. Speaking to mediapersons at the state party headquarters in Lucknow, Congress leader and Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal claimed “a new variety of mafia” has emerged under BJP rule in the form of vigilantes, who take law in their hands in the name of cow protection or moral policing.
“The biggest failure of the Modi government is continuation of divisive politics in the country. Politics in the name of religion or caste may work for some time, but it will not last long,” he said. Badal claimed that the “rise of such gau rakshaks” has severely hit the dairy business in Punjab, which used to sell its cows to other parts of the country. He alleged that 35 farmers are committing suicide every day on an average because the government is not trying to understand their distress. There is no leader in the Modi Cabinet who cares about farmers’ issues, said Badal.
“While Modi had promised to generate two crore jobs in the country, only 1.35 lakh jobs were created in 2015,” he claimed, adding that while the Prime Minister is talking about “strong leadership” and “56-inch chest”, the country has faced several attacks, like in Uri and Pathankot. Badal said a society which cannot discern between a chowkidar (guard) and a chor (thief) cannot progress.
Citing Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam scam, Chhattisgarh’s PDS scam and controversies linking Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, Badal said the PM has not spoken on these issues. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif is defending himself in court after his name figured in the Panama Papers, but no Indians mentioned in the disclosures have been issued notices, despite the Prime Minister’s claims of bringing black money back into the country, he alleged.
Meanwhile, a march towards the Vidhan Sabha, organised by Youth Congress workers against “the failures of the central government”, was stopped midway by the police. PTI reported that the workers, led by their state unit president Ankit Singh Parihar, started their march from the party office to gherao the Vidhan Bhavan but were stopped midway by police personnel — armed with water cannons — at Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, Youth Congress general secretary Akhilesh Verma claimed. “It is our democratic right to protest but this is like autocracy,” said Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi.