High inflation, unemployment, misgovernance and communal polarisation have been hallmarks of the eight years of the Narendra Modi government, the Congress said on Thursday as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government completed three years of its second term.
The Congress released a 20-page Hindi booklet titled ‘8 saal, 8 chall Sarkar Viphal,’ [’Eight years, eight deceits and a failed government’] to highlight the Modi government’s failures with regard to economy, employment, inflation, farmers’ income, national security, welfare for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Addressing a joint press conference here, party general secretaries Ajay Maken and Randeep Surjewala claimed that the BJP government had created a record of “hoodwinking the people with fake jumlas and slogans during its eight years of rule”. The BJP’s promise of “ achche din” or good days was meant only for themselves or a select group of crony capitalists and industrialists whose wealth had increased manifold, the Congress alleged. Communal clashes Accusing the BJP of spreading hatred in society through communal polarisation, Mr. Maken alleged that 10,000 cases of communal clashes had taken place during the last eight years of the Modi government. He also accused the BJP of seeking votes in the name of the brave soldiers and charged that the ruling party’s ‘disastrous policies” led to the economy’s free fall. “...All these eight things, which we have picked up, concern each and every citizen of the country. Be it failure to protect our boundaries, be it rising inflation, unemployment, all these failures are bigger than the other. So, we can’t pick one failure over the other,” Mr. Maken responded, when asked to pick the single biggest failure. Mr. Surjewala said the eight years of the BJP rule had seen continuous threats to the sovereignty and security of the country, with China transgressing our borders and the Prime Minister keeping silent about it. ‘56 inch chest’ “What happened to the Prime Minister’s 56 inch chest and laal ankh [red eyes],” Mr. Surjewala asked, referring to a statement of Mr. Modi before the 2014 elections that a leader needed to have a 56-inch chest to take on China. He claimed that 84% Indians had seen reduced incomes and 12 crore people lost their jobs, 60 lakh Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) shut shop and unemployment figures touched a 45-year high. In contrast, Mr. Surjewala claimed that two-three industrialists had seen their incomes rise by ₹1,000 crore every day and 142 super rich made gains of ₹30 lakh crore in the last one year during COVID-19. “While high prices are upsetting the budgets of common people on the one hand, on the other communal fires are flaring and the BJP is trying to benefit politically from it,” the Congress leader said.