Congress mocks ‘failed’ Modi schemes

Modi is all hype and no substance. He wanted to drown the people in a wave of lies but will drown himself: Sidhu

  • Published 7.05.19, 8:02 AM
  • Updated 7.05.19, 8:02 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses a press conference, at AICC HQ in New Delhi, Monday, May 06, 2019. (PTI)

The Congress on Monday said that most of the highly publicised schemes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched had failed, and accused the government of focusing on hype instead of delivery.

“Modi is all hype and no substance. He wanted to drown the people in a wave of lies but will drown himself,” Punjab minister and star Congress campaigner Navjot Singh Sidhu told a news conference.

“He will be remembered for only two successful schemes: pakoda for the youth and bhagora (fugitives) for thieves. I dare them to debate the success of any other schemes.”

Modi had last year claimed that selling pakodas on the street counted as a job too, drawing ridicule. The Congress accuses the Modi government of allowing a host of wealthy businessmen to flee the country after swindling public-sector banks out of thousands of crores.

“In the Namami Gange (Ganga-cleaning scheme), only Rs 6,000 crore of the Rs 20,000 crore allotted was spent. Barely 10 per cent of the (planned) sewage plants were built, and the Ganga became dirtier,” Sidhu said.

“Digital India was supposed to connect 2.5 lakh villages. Cables were laid in only 1.10 lakh villages and the Internet didn’t work in even 2 per cent villages. Now it is being outsourced to private firms. The Pew Research Centre (a US ‘non-partisan fact tank’) says India is rock bottom with Tanzania when it comes to the Internet-use-to-population ratio.”

Sidhu added: “Skill India was expected to train 40 crore people. Only 40 lakh were trained, of whom merely 10 per cent got jobs. The Amrut scheme was supposed to supply water to 500 cities, but the project utilisation is barely 3 per cent.

“(In the) Mudra scheme, no jobs were created…. The MPs’ model village scheme is a disaster. Of the Rs 684 crore allotted for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Rs 365 crore was spent on advertisements, to show Modi’s shining face. That was in addition to the Rs 5,000 crore spent on his publicity. As for the Nirbhaya Fund for women’s safety, only Rs 960 crore of the allocated Rs 6,312 crore was spent.”

Sidhu claimed he was using only official figures. He reeled off stats he claimed reflected an inadequate expenditure on education and crop insurance, and the fleecing of consumers with high taxes on petroleum products. He said the crop insurance scheme had witnessed a bigger scam than Rafale.

He accused the government of launching or repackaging schemes with catchy names and acronyms but failing to make them count. He gave examples: F to F (Farm to Fork), Make in India, Smart City, Stand-up India, Digital India, Start-up India….

Sidhu also cited instances of Modi’s acronyms: P2G2 (pro-people-good-governance), 5 Ts (talent-tradition-tourism-trade-technology), 3Ds (democracy-demography-demand), 3S (skill-scale-speed), Jam (Jandhan-Aadhar-mobile), Setu (self-employed and talent utilisation), 4Ps (people-private-public-partnership), Aim (Atal Innovation Mission), Hit (highways-informationways-transmissionways)….

Sidhu said Modi would initially talk of Vikas (vidyut-kanoon-sadak, or electricity-law-roads) in his rallies in backward states like Uttar Pradesh, where only “Pakistan”, “Pulwama” and “Rahul Gandhi” resonate now.

He said Modi had promised to double the farmers’ incomes and prioritise “Top” (tomato-onion-potato) but was now silent on this.

The Congress has launched a social media campaign to showcase its achievements of the past 70 years, from dams to IITs, Isro to super-computers, nuclear test to liberalisation, the Right to Information to the rural job guarantee scheme.

Its campaign, launched under the tagline “Main Hindustan Hun (I Am India)”, starts with Rahul explaining he would not climb onto the dais and declare that India was a sleeping elephant before his arrival on the scene.

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