NEW DELHI, May 30 (AGENCIES): The Congress on Saturday described the first year of the Modi government 2.0 as a “year of disappointment, disastrous management and diabolical pain” and said it has been insensitive to the sufferings of the poor due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing lockdown.
The opposition party also accused the government of sidestepping Parliament and rendering grassroots elected bodies non-functional under the garb of centralised handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress leader K C Venugopal said the six years of the Modi dispensation have seen fraying of bonds of empathy, fraternity and brotherhood with a simultaneous increase in acts of communal and sectarian violence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet members had taken oath on this day last year for a second term in office and the BJP touted as “historic” its achievements on the first anniversary of the Modi government 2.0.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that at the end of six years, it appears the Modi government is at war with its people. “Instead of healing, it is inflicting wounds on the soul of Mother India and its children,” he said. Alleging that Modi government failed in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the prime minister should tell the country what is the exit strategy as the four spells of the nationwide lockdown have proved to be a failure.
“BJP should tell the country what the country has achieved and what has been lost during the four lockdowns,” he said. Surjewala said Railways Minister Piyush Goyal must be held responsible for the agony and deaths of hapless passengers on railway tracks and in special trains for migrant labourers, and should be sacked.
He summed up the achievements of Modi rule as “zero”, saying this government is trying to fill the coffers of the select rich and is exploiting the poor and inflicting pain on them. The Congress also released a set of six “myths” about the government, highlighting its failures on various fronts and alleging that democracy is under threat under the BJP rule.
The Congress said PM Modi sold the “myth of vikas” versus reality of “Voodoo Modinomics” and its “sabka saath, sabka vikas” slogan turned out to be “Mitron ka saath, BJP ka vikas”. The party said while Modi presented himself as “pradhan sevak”, he actually turned out to be an “autocratic emperor” and his claim of doubling of farm incomes has turned out to be another myth and he has instead decimated farm economy.
Taking on his ‘achche din’ slogan, the Congress said the truth is before the people. The Congress also hit out at the BJP over its strong leadership claim, saying it has turned out to be “incoherent decision-making” in the government so far.
“National Interest has been constantly compromised and sacrificed at the altar of political self-interest,” said Surjewala. The two leaders said that while the people of the country are feeling helpless, the government has turned out to be heartless. On the BJP’s charge of the Congress playing politics over the COVID-19 crisis, Venugopal said the opposition party did not indulge in any politics and gave suggestions instead.
“As a responsible opposition, it is our duty to highlight failures of the government and speak for the poor and highlight their problems,” he said. Venugopal said the government “is totally insensitive” to the plight of migrant labourers and farmers and the Congress was only trying to highlight the problems and plight of common people and failures of the government in resolving them.
Surjewala also demanded that a virtual session of Parliament be convened immediately to discuss pressing issues and the due process be set in motion for holding of meetings of various parliamentary committees.
“When ‘pradhan sevaks’ become autocratic, the first casualty is the democracy. In fact, democracy is under attack by the Modi government which got elected through this democratic process,” he said. Surjewala said standing committees and select committees of Parliament have been side-lined and given a go-by. Even grassroots democracy of panchayats, zila parishads and municipal councils and corporations have been virtually non-functional with the bureaucracy ruling the roost and the entire country is being ruled directly by the central government. Venugopal said at the start of the seventh year, India stands at a crossroads with its citizens exhausted by the weight of this “government’s sins, ineptitude and callous insensitivity to the widespread suffering”.
“Over the last six years, India witnessed a steady increase in the politics of distraction and false noise, to the point that it has become a defining mainstay of Modi Government’s administrative style. While it served the political interests of the BJP, it came at an unprecedented economic and social cost to the nation,” he said.
The Modi dispensation promised “so much”, but delivered “so very little”, Surjewala said. He also attacked the government on the foreign policy front, and said “the unprovoked incursion in Ladakh by Chinese armed forces in Pangong Tso Lake and Galwan valley regions raise grave apprehensions vis-à-vis our national security”.
“…it has caused serious concerns and anxiety, more so because PM has not come forward to share any details with the nation, much less speak to the Chinese with his promised ‘red-eyes’,” he added.