New Delhi, July 25: The Congress today opposed foreign direct investment in defence but grudgingly indicated support to 49 per cent FDI in insurance, recalling how the BJP had stalled its reforms agenda and dubbed it anti-national for proposing such measures.
Attacking the BJP’s “double-speak” and alleging it neither had conviction nor a definite line of action on liberalisation, Congress spokesperson P.C. Chacko said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted accusing us of selling the country when we wanted to bring 49 per cent FDI in insurance. Arun Jaitley blocked it. The BJP didn’t co-operate in pushing the reforms agenda, causing great damage to the economy.”
Asked if the Congress was pledging support to the insurance bill cleared by the cabinet, Chacko said: “We will support all that is good for India. We have to see their scheme and take a considered view.
“But the nation should see the BJP’s double talk. We always had a clear-cut reforms agenda and also cast a safety net around the poor. We wanted to bring the goods and services tax but the delay caused by the BJP hurt our economy.”
Chacko also accused the Modi regime of opening up the defence sector without weighing the consequences.
The Centre has not clarified its position on FDI in retail so far, although the BJP had promised to revoke the decision taken by the UPA regime after coming to power. There are indications the government could do a somersault on that too, leaving the decision to individual states.
Chacko pointed to the BJP’s “hypocrisy” on “every issue” and recalled how its members had yesterday said in the Lok Sabha that black money could not be brought back in their lifetime.
“Bringing back black money immediately was one of BJP’s main poll planks and they used to cite astronomical figures and mention bank accounts. Now they are saying it can’t be brought backů
“They are doing nothing except communalising the country. The chapatti incident at Maharashtra Sadan, the statement about Hindu rashtra by a Goa minister, communal disturbances in Moradabadů all this shows the sick minds of these people and remind us of what level they can take public discourse to,” Chacko said.
Asked if the Congress would ask Modi to rein in his party members, he said: “We don’t know whether party elements are behaving like this (independently) or they have the blessings of the Prime Minister.”