Updated: November 19, 2017 4:56:20 pm
Ahead of next month’s Gujarat assembly elections, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sibal, who arrived in Vadodara to interact with an audience that consisted of intellectuals, lawyers and traders from Gujarat, said that Modi is the first Prime Minister in the country’s history who never held a press conference, claiming that he lacks the ability to answer questions that are raised to him.
The Congress leader remarked that PM Modi can merely deliver speeches with statistics that may or may not be true. He also challenged BJP president Amit Shah for a debate. “I challenge Amit Shah to a debate to prove that Gujarat leads ranks in any sector,” said Sibal.
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Sibal began his speech by stating that: “Narendra Modi had promised maximum governance and minimum government but we need to assess if he has delivered on his promise.”
He further pointed out that the Parliament Winter session was never delayed due to an assembly election in a state. “We haven’t heard from the government if the winter session will happen,” said former HRD minister.
Targeting PM Modi over his criticism that the former Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh remained silent on several issues, Sibal said: “He accused Manmohan Singh of remaining silent, but Manmohan Singh spoke on the floor of the Parliament.”
Sibal also alleged that the BJP neither allows the opposition to speak in the Lok Sabha nor outside the Floor of the House. He accused the BJP-led central government of orchestrating media censorship in the country. He also promised that when Congress comes to power, it will “bring a law to ensure that no industrialist invests money in a media house.”
Commenting about the ongoing debate on the issue of privacy, Sibal stated that the PM Modi-led central government informed the 11 judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court that Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right.
“It shows their mindset,” Sibal pointed out. “They have said that it is the right of the government to force every citizen to provide the Aadhaar number for any activity in the country. They want to know the bank balance, movements of the people,” Sibal said furthering his comments on the privacy debate in the country.
He clarified that Congress is opposed to the intrusion of the government into the lives of citizens in the guise of Aadhar. “Their Aadhar policy is an example of maximum government. They cannot sit and keep tabs on what people are doing through Aadhar,” Sibal added.
While mentioning the raids made by the country’s investigative agencies on the leaders of the Congress party, Sibal said that- “If investigating agencies do not work within the framework of law but attack individuals, it is subversion of democracy; they have made their people, who helped them in Gujarat, Chief of investigating agencies.”
While taking a note of the Prime Minister’s frequent visits to the states undergoing elections to rally support for BJP, Sibal said that: “Modi only thinks about himself. If he spends 15 days in Gujarat, or anywhere in the country where there are elections, he should become the election campaigner, not the Prime Minister.”
Retaliating on the BJP’s criticism the Akash tablet scheme, Sibal stated that the Congress Party’s vision was that it would help teach students who suffer due to lack of teachers. Sibal alleged that the Modi-led government is not thinking of the future of students.
“He has not spoken about his vision for India because he doesn’t know what his vision really is. Governance does not mean you reach France and place orders for Rafales across the table,” said Sibal in a series of verbal attacks that targeted PM Modi.
Sibal rejected the latest Moody ratings that upgraded the state of Indian economy on Friday. “Moody’s has nothing do with the mood of this country. Every country they have given rating to, has collapsed. But Modiji does not know this because his ‘mood’ has changed because of Moody,” Sibal lampooned.
Sibal toed the Congress party line for Gujarat campaign and spoke of Surat small traders suffering due to economic policies. “The NPAs (non-performing assets) of banks have gone upto Rs 10000 crore. When public investment surpasses private investment, it means economy is crashing; but Finance Minister is patting his back.”
Talking of demonetisation, he said that it was akin to buying Rafales. “Most decisions taken by PM Modi are without thought; demonetisation, purchase of Rafales, GST,” Sibal remarked. Sibal cited a Transparency International report and said, “The report termed India the most corrupt country in Asia-Pacific. BJP is the richest political party, especially after demonetisation. Weren’t there middlemen who helped the rich convert black money to white.”
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