The Lok Sabha elections will be a battle between dictatorship and democracy and jumla versus impeccable track record, the Congress said on Saturday, hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after he said that the country has to choose between a “majboor sarkar” (helpless government) and a “mazboot sarkar” (strong government) at the Centre.
The Congress asked the Prime Minister whether the A B Vajpayee government was a helpless government since it was a coalition. It also asked why the PM, during his nearly 80-minute address at the BJP national convention, made no mention of demonetisation and GST, which were celebrated as major achievements, and about the 2014 promise to usher in acche din and creation of two crore jobs every year.
“2019 is not a battle between a mazboot sarkar and majboor sarkar. It is a fight between dictatorship and democracy, it is a struggle between bhashan (speech) and prashasan (administration) and it is going to be a test between jumlas versus impeccable track record of service which the Congress has delivered over the years,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.
“You said your government is strong and alliance governments are helpless. Was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government a helpless government? It was a coalition government.” he said.
Accusing the Prime Minister of sidelining key issues, he said: “The Prime Minister did not mention acche din, although he spoke about sabka saat, sabka vikas, because it would have been like rubbing salt into the wounds of the people…. You believed that your government’s biggest achievement is demonetisation. They why did not you mention demonetisation in your 80-minute speech?
“For the first time in 60 years, imposing tax on people was celebrated as a festival. If GST was one of the biggest achievements, then why didn’t you mention about it in your speech? There was no mention about two crore jobs… You spoke about farmers, about their pain. If your government was so sensitive about farmers, then why are farmer agitations raging across the country… why are they not getting the right price for their produce?” he said. “People wanted to hear answers to these questions from the PM.”
Hitting out at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who said there has been no major terror attack under the BJP government, he asked, “Then why did you carry out a surgical strike. Weren’t the attacks in military installations in Uri, Gurdaspur and Pathankot big terror attack?”
On the PM accusing the Congress of misusing institutions, Tewari said it was the BJP government which had been destroying institutions one after the other. “I want to ask why two RBI chiefs had to quit. You have seen what Justice A K Patnaik has said. He has said there was no evidence against Alok Verma and questioned his hasty removal.”