New Delhi, Aug 16: The Congress today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi how he had given out exact figures of additional Rs 3 lakh crore coming into the banking system after demonetisation when the RBI has said money was still being counted.
"It is a big question. Who is lying, the Prime Minister or the Reserve Bank of India? Even the government said in Parliament during the last session that the exact amount coming into the banking system could not be quantified as the RBI was in the process of counting. How come the Prime Minister talked about the exact figure in his Independence Day address?" Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad asked.
Azad wondered if the Prime Minister was fooling the country. "The RBI also said it had not so far segregated the cash and it was difficult to say how much of it was counterfeit, how much black money. The Prime Minister yesterday said Rs 1.75 lakh crore was black and was being investigated. The Prime Minister and the RBI are clearly taking contrarian stands. If what the Prime Minister said publicly is true, why was Parliament misled?"
The Congress leader also pointed to what he described as the "hypocrisy" of the Prime Minister on the vital questions of communal polarisation and Jammu and Kashmir.
"Modi gave a new slogan - Bharat Jodo (Unite India). Wonderful! People of Sangh parivar are busy dividing the society 24x7. Their sole agenda is Bharat Todo (Break India) and the Prime Minister says Bharat Jodo. Instead of telling the ordinary citizens, the Prime Minister should ask his own people not to pursue divisive politics."
Azad said Mahatma Gandhi achieved freedom only after uniting India and that happened without the support of the RSS. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had also given a " Bharat Jodo" call during the recent debate on the Quit India anniversary, arguing that there was a need for a campaign to unite India. She, too, didn't specify the forces primarily responsible for creating divisions along religious lines. Ironically, the BJP has also given a call for a "Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Bharat", or the total destruction of the principal Opposition party of the country, when the objective is to unite every section of society.
Azad made similar allegations on Kashmir, arguing that Modi's new suggestion to solve the problem by "embracing" the people should be directed at the Sangh parivar alone.
"The Prime Minister, who is on a hugging spree throughout the world, has never been seen embracing a Kashmiri. He says ' gaali and goli' (abuse and bullets) won't solve the problem. Who is giving gaali and goli? It is coming from his supporters only."
Lamenting that the government didn't pay heed to the advice of Opposition parties to initiate a political process to normalise the situation in Kashmir, Azad said: "The supporters of Sangh parivar and two-three television channels are constantly abusing Kashmiris. The government believes in military action, which means bullets. The government has closed doors, windows, ventilators... everything for the last three years. Now, if the Prime Minister wants to embrace Kashmiris, he has to talk to his people first."
Azad also took strong objection to the Prime Minister making a passing reference to the Gorakhpur child deaths along with natural calamities.
"We thought the Prime Minister will apologise for the deaths of over 65 children as it was a man-made tragedy. The children died because the Uttar Pradesh government could not provide oxygen. Nothing can be more shameful than this. We also know the Yogi (Adityanath) government cancelled the contract of the Gorakhpur-based oxygen supplier and engaged another supplier from Allahabad. Who did this and why was the local supplier removed?" the Congress leader asked.