Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘naamdar’ (dynast) barb, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the people of the country want the next prime minister to be ‘kaamdar’, ‘jimmedar’ and ‘imandar’ who is not in the habit of making hollow promises. “People of the country want the next prime minister to be not only ‘kaamdar’ (one who works) but also ‘jimmedar’ (responsible) and ‘imandar’ (honest) who is not a ‘jumlawar’ (one who makes hollow promises),” Sibal told reporters in Bhubaneshwar. He was referring to the “naamdar” barb by Modi apparently targeted at Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his campaign in the Karnataka Assembly election.
Sibal, who was here to take part in the ‘Vishwasghat Divas’ (Betrayal Day) observed by the Congress, said neither ‘achhe din’ nor ‘sachhe din’ could be experienced in the country as the prime minister had betrayed the people by not fulfilling any of the promises he had made before the 2014 polls. Taking a swipe at Modi’s achhe din slogan, he said, “After four years, na achhe din na sachhe din. Modiji hum aage badhenge tere bin (Modiji we will forge ahead without you).” As part of the ‘Vishwasghat Divas’ observed by the Congress across the country to mark the completion of four years of the Modi government, party workers staged protests in Bhubaneshwar and in the various districts of Odisha.
In Bhubaneswar, the party activists also burnt an effigy of the prime minister. Claiming that the Modi-led NDA government was working only for the wealthy people and big corporate houses, the senior Congress leader said people have now realised that the Modi regime has betrayed them and ruined the country with its hollow promises.
Coming down heavily on the central government over black money, he alleged that despite promises to bring back unaccounted money amounting to Rs 80 lakh crore stashed abroad, the Centre is protecting the corrupt and scamsters. “The NDA government, on the other hand, is bent on harassing the poor and common people through ill thought measures like demonetisation,” he said, while accusing the Modi government of “snatching away the hard earned money from the pockets of common people for implementing various schemes and programmes.” Though Modi had promised employment to two crore youths, only four lakh jobs could be created last year, Sibal claimed. He said the GDP growth rate has nosedived to 6.5 per cent, while prices of petrol and diesel has sky-rocketed, breaking the backbone of the common people.
Claiming that the NDA regime is insensitive to the plight of farmers, Sibal said by imposing the GST on farm implements, tractors and power tillers the Centre has hit the already stressed peasants. The agriculture sector remained stressed during the past four years as farmers were not given the minimum support price for their produce, he said, adding that tribals, Dalits and minorities were left in a state of insecurity due to increasing atrocities on them.
Sibal also hit out at the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha, accusing him of supporting the Modi regime at the Centre on several occasions though the state was always neglected by it. “I want to ask the Odisha chief minister why he supports BJP,” he said.
Stating that Modi during his visit to Odisha in 2014 had made tall claims and said the eastern Indian states would be the focus of the BJP, Sibal claimed that in reality no central scheme was properly implemented in the region. “What has Modiji done for Odisha in the last four years,” he asked and added that on the contrary schemes for backward regions of the state were scrapped.
Slamming Patnaik for raking up the Mahanadi river issue only for political gains ahead of the general elections due next year, Sibal said he had earlier stated that the people of Odisha, including farmers, would not be affected even if many dams are constructed over the river.