Congress takes jab at democracy, drama and deceit
The Congress on Sunday said the first 100 days of Narendra Modi’s second government had witnessed a “continued subversion of democracy” and the politics of “deceit” alongside the tactic of dazzling people with pyrotechnics to divert their attention from the real concerns.
At a news conference held a day after Modi’s second term completed 100 days, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal stressed how the government was relying on “dhamaka” (shock and awe) to push the real issues under the carpet.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Congratulations to the Modi government on the continued subversion of democracy, a firmer stranglehold on a submissive media to drown out criticism and a glaring lack of leadership, direction & plans where it’s needed the most — to turn around our ravaged economy.”
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too posted a tweet, using words like “drama, deceit, lies and propaganda” to describe the government’s functioning.
The first 100 days of Modi’s second term have been marked by momentous decisions, such as the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and a five-week-old clampdown on the state. The Congress argued that the period was marked by a “crisis of administration”, “incompetence” and “vindictiveness”.
“The trick is to create one dhamaka after another. Splash and rash… without any assessment of consequences. The purpose is to keep the country engaged,” Sibal told reporters.
“They don’t know how to run the country. Their incompetence is exposed. They won’t accept the truth — that there are crises. They operate against the law of gravity. They say everything is fine with the economy (and that the situation in) Jammu and Kashmir is normal. The truth is that the crisis of administration is there for everybody to see. They alone can’t see what is visible to everybody.”
Sibal added: “The basic expectation from the Prime Minister was that he would do something concrete to provide relief to the common man (who had) voted him in again, but the people’s miseries have increased.
“Nothing (has been done) for education or health care. Nothing for the economy and business. Only arrogance and (the politics of) vendetta are visible. They passed all the bills without sending them to parliamentary committees. Opposition leaders against whom there is no evidence are being hounded and BJP leaders are protected despite glaring evidence.”
Sibal criticised a statement attributed to national security adviser Ajit Doval.
“He (Doval) said yesterday that the curbs would be lifted in Jammu and Kashmir depending upon Pakistan’s behaviour. What is this? Pakistan will create mischief but why punish our own citizens?” he said.
“Kashmir has been in lockdown for over a month — 2,500 hotels are empty; 15,000 salesmen have lost their jobs; construction is at a standstill; children are not going to school; Ayushman Bharat (a government health insurance scheme) is suspended; essential drugs are in short supply. When will the curbs be lifted?”
Sibal then referred to the updated National Register of Citizens for Assam that has excluded over 19 lakh residents of the state.
“What is happening in Assam with the NRC? I met a judge whose family is in the register but he is out. Former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s family members are out,” he said.
He said the economy was in crisis. “The auto industry has laid off 3.5 lakh employees. Over 300 dealerships have shut down; spare-part makers are closing down; big companies are having three to five no-work days in a week. The textile sector is in a big mess —the job losses are to the tune of 30 million.
“Real estate is no better (off) — 4.5 lakh unsold units are lying in major cities. But the government is in denial. We said the demonetisation was responsible for this, and that has been proved.”
Asked about the government’s new slogan of “sabka vishwas” (trust of all) alongside the old “sabka sath, sabka vikas” (support and development for all), Sibal said: “Whose vishwas has the government won except (that of the) ED, CBI and (the) income-tax (department)?”
He added: “They are talking of change, (but the) change (witnessed so far has) only (been) downfall, degeneration….”
The Congress also ran a social media campaign giving sector-wise details of the government’s failures.