Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday launched a scathing attack on the BJP government over its management of the economy, questioned its decision to sign the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement and accused it of snooping and spying on activists, journalists, and political persons.
Gandhi chaired a high-level meeting of the party to review the preparations for a 10-day nationwide agitation, the opposition party is planning to launch from November 5.
Speaking on the WhatsApp snooping row for the first time, she said the Narendra Modi government has been snooping and spying activities on activists, journalists, and political persons through the Israeli Pegasus software acquired by it. “These activities are not only illegal and unconstitutional, they are also shameful,” she said.
Hitting out at the government over its economic management, she said it pains her see that the Indian economy is under siege.
“What is even more worrying is that the government is in complete denial. Instead of acknowledging the severe slowdown and looking for a comprehensive resolution, Prime Minister Modi is too busy managing headlines and events. This cavalier attitude comes at a high price, a price that millions of our fellow Indian especially the unemployed youth and farmers and fellow Indians are having to endure,” she said.
Gandhi said the economic crisis is worsening by the day.
“The GDP growth is at best only 5 per cent during the first quarter. It is not just a six-year low. This signifies a deep crisis. This is a sign of weak demand, low consumption, no investment and, as a result no jobs. Unemployment levels at nearly 8.5 per cent is most disturbing. Far from creating jobs, recent studies now suggest that demonetization, a messed up GST and subsequent economic decisions of the Modi government have resulted in an unprecedented loss of 9 million jobs during the last 6 years,” Gandhi said.
Slamming the government over the hike in the prices of cooking gas, she said, “India’s economic woes are not confined to the domestic front. Inconsistent and defective policies have seen exports shrink at a time when India could have been a big beneficiary of the global trade wars,” show said.
She also questioned the government’s decision to sign the RCEP – the regional free trade agreement of 16 Asian countries – arguing it will deal a body blow to the Indian economy.
“This will result in untold hardship for our farmers, shopkeepers, small & medium enterprises with serious repercussions for the people. We can ill afford to become a dumping ground for products – including agricultural produce from foreign countries,” she said.
Gandhi was speaking at a meeting of AICC general secretaries and other top leaders of the party.
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