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Hundred days of empty dreams: Cong

New Delhi, Sept. 2: The Congress today described the first 100 days of the Narendra Modi government as “extremely disappointing” and rattled off a long list of reasons: “unacceptably” high prices of essential commodities, communal disturbances, rising crime against women, major ceasefire violations on the border, directionless foreign policy and centralisation of power that undermines the sanctity of the cabinet system.

The BJP had misled people with false dreams and delivered nothing other than repackaging the old schemes, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.

“While the government aims at projecting itself as a strong entity, the process of weakening India as a nation has begun,” the party said in a five-page critique. The government is busy “creating media hype about non-existent achievements… taking credit for schemes of the previous government”, it said.

Sharma questioned the Modi government for taking credit for the 5.7 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter. “Out of the 90 days in the first quarter for which the figures have come, the Modi government was in office for merely 35 days. The RBI, our interim budget and foreign financial institutions predicted 5.5 per cent or 5.6 per cent growth because of the steps taken by the UPA government over the past two years,” he said.

The Congress spokesperson also pointed to the BJP’s campaign on black money, recalling how the party and its ally Baba Ramdev had talked about Rs 85 lakh crore stashed away in foreign banks and promised to bring it back within 100 days.

“Not 85 paise have come back. They told people about so many scams. We want to ask the Prime Minister to tell the nation about scams in our time; the government is now pleading in the Supreme Court to allow 46 coal blocks after describing every allocation as a scam,” the Congress spokesperson said.

Sharma also asked why the Lokpal had not been appointed yet after all the noise on corruption and why the Prime Minister was silent on implementing the Supreme Court verdict on ministers facing charges.

The BJP had harped on federalism when out of power but its government had dismantled the Planning Commission without any consultation with the states, he pointed out.

He also alleged a snub to the judiciary in the Gopal Subramanian case.

The most severe criticism was on foreign policy and the communal agenda of the BJP. Reeling out details of hundreds of incidents of communal violence, provocative statements from leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Mohan Bhagwat and Z-plus security to riot accused Sangeet Som, the Congress spokesperson questioned Modi’s silence on these issues.

Sharma also spoke of attempts by RSS leaders to “subvert the education system” and of attempts to undermine the autonomy of institutions.

The Modi government’s foreign policy was opaque, directionless and was confusing India’s partners and interlocutors, the Congress said. It listed the “inconsistent” stand at WTO, flip-flop on engagement with Pakistan, India’s absence from the Saarc ministers’ meet at Thimphu and the annual summit of the East Asian Economic Ministers in Myanmar. Sharma said the government had even trivialised multilateral commitments.

Contesting the claim of Japan becoming India’s “strategic partner” because of Modi’s ongoing visit, the Congress spokesperson said this had happened in 2008.

Sharma said the Prime Minister should not create an impression that he was doing everything for the first time as “India existed before May 16, 2014 and achieved a lot before his arrival”.