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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

PM Narendra Modi's crass election speech filled with lies and vague promises: Congress

It takes particular audacity to claim that our borders are safer than before when Chinese troops continue to block Indian access to 2,000sqkm of Indian territory: Jairam Ramesh

Sanjay K. Jha New Delhi Published 16.08.23, 05:37 AM
Jairam Ramesh said Modi showed no sorrow for or acknowledgement of the abject failures which had led to Manipur turning into a war zone

Jairam Ramesh said Modi showed no sorrow for or acknowledgement of the abject failures which had led to Manipur turning into a war zone File Photo

The Congress on Tuesday said the Narendra Modi government had in the past nine years reflected ill-intentions, bad policies and injustice, contending that rhetoric and bluster could no longer cover up the truth which was now evident to the entire country.

Analysing the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Independence Day, Congress communications chief Jairam Ramesh said: “Rather than reporting to the people what his government had achieved in the past nine years, Modi gave a crass election speech filled with distortions, lies, exaggerations and vague promises. Instead of bringing the country together to celebrate our journey so far, acknowledge the pain and anguish of those suffering and accept the challenges ahead, he made it all about himself and his image.”

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Ramesh said Modi showed no sorrow for or acknowledgement of the abject failures which had led to Manipur turning into a war zone. Referring to the Prime Minister’s claim that the world saw India’s capability during the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramesh said: “He deliberately failed to mention that as a direct result of inadequate oxygen supplies and the failure to order adequate vaccines in a timely manner, India ended up with 40 lakh Covid deaths — the world’s highest death toll. The world has not
forgotten the bodies piled up outside hospitals and flowing down the Ganga during the devastating second wave.”

Recalling Modi’s “na-koi-ghusa hai” statement in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley clash, Ramesh said: “It takes particular audacity to claim that our borders are safer than before when Chinese troops continue to block Indian access to 2,000sqkm of Indian territory.”

The Congress leader expressed shock at the Prime Minister’s refusal to accept the scourge of unprecedented unemployment and price rise. “India’s democratic institutions are being continuously eroded, the most recent example being the bill to bring the Election Commission under the control of the executive by going against the Supreme Court’s recommendations on selecting its members,” Ramesh added.

He said the social fabric of the country had been torn apart through control of the media and the misuse of social media by the Modi government, the BJP and the hydra-headed Sangh parivar.

“The PM’s talk of women-led development rings hollow when he supports sexual predators instead of our female athletes — our national champions who were dragged on the roads of the national capital — and stands by as women are stripped and raped in Manipur,” he said.

On Modi’s reform-perform-transform slogan, Ramesh said: “The government’s ‘reforms’ have all been anti-people, be it demonetisation, flawed GST or the anti-farmer laws. The only ‘performance’ has been the 40 per cent commission raj of BJP state governments, the function of the BJP as a washing machine to ‘clean’ those Opposition leaders who are arm-twisted by the ED/CBI/IT to comply with or ally with the BJP, and bringing down elected state governments.”

Ramesh added: “And the only ‘transformation’ has been in the concentration of economic power in select Modi-made Monopolies (3M) that is exacerbating price rise and ensuring record inequality. Especially, Modi’s direct role in directing deals and government revenues towards his most favoured business group.”

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge cautioned the country against such false claims that India was developed only after 2014. He said: “Great people don’t belittle their great predecessors to appear big. They do their good deeds and leave the judgement to others. Those who cannot create, who cannot contribute, must settle for claiming and co-opting the achievements of their predecessors. We have a government which is always keen on name-changing and usurping the credit of the previous governments.”

Kharge recalled how India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had demonstrated great vision by setting up public sector units and remarkable institutions which laid the foundation for India’s rise. Recalling the critical contributions of Indira Gandhi, from the green revolution to the creation of Bangladesh, and Rajiv Gandhi’s technological push, Kharge pointed to how P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh had brought in economic liberalisation.

Accusing Modi of doing little constructive work, Kharge said: “It pains me to say that today, democracy, Constitution and autonomous institutions are in great danger. New tactics are being adopted to suppress the voice of the Opposition; there are raids by the CBI, ED and income tax. The Election Commission is being weakened.

“Efforts are being made to suppress the voice of Opposition MPs in Parliament by suspending them. Sometimes the mic is switched off. Sometimes someone’s words are expunged. Privilege motions are moved to target the Opposition.”

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