Why Congress is saying long live Modi

Congress wishes Modi a long life so that he could be held accountable for his actions

  • Published 4.05.19, 7:36 AM
  • Updated 4.05.19, 7:36 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Narendra Modi (PTI)

The Congress on Friday wished Narendra Modi a long and healthy life so that he could be “held accountable for his actions”, responding to the Prime Minister’s claim that the Opposition party hated him so much that it wished he were dead.

The Congress had earlier dismissed the Prime Minister’s claim as a “pitiable attempt to garner sympathy” in a difficult election.

Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said: “What kind of threat could be there to Modi’s life? He is India’s Prime Minister and he should explain if there is any specific issue. We wish him well; we wish him a long and healthy life so that he is held accountable for his actions.”

“We want responsibility to be fixed for the misdeeds and betrayal. He inflicted immeasurable miseries on people through the mindless decision of demonetisation. That was the scam of the century. He destroyed jobs, ruined the economy. Who will be held accountable for the loss of 2 per cent of the GDP (Rs 3 lakh crore) that demonetisation caused? He also defamed India by creating an impression that people hoarded black money,” Sharma added.

Modi had on Wednesday told a rally at Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh: “Congress walon ko aapke Modi se itni nafrat kyu hai ki Modi ke marne tak ke sapne dekhne lage hai (Why do Congress leaders hate your Modi so much that they have started dreaming about his death)?”

Sharma pointed out that only 16 days were left of Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister.

“Our request to the outgoing Prime Minister is that he should not create more communal tensions in the society, not divide the nation on the question of patriotism. India has always been united against terror and on the question of national security. No Prime Minister in the past had sought to divide people on these questions. This Prime Minister is challenging the intelligence and wisdom of the people by portraying himself as the only saviour and others as sympathisers of terrorism,” the Congress veteran said.

While the Congress has tried its best to ensure that the discourse revolves around basic issues like jobs, agrarian distress and Modi’s perceived failure to deliver on the promises made in 2014, the Prime Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah have kept the focus on terror and Pakistan.

The Congress is worried that the Balakot air strike helped Modi refurbish his image as a strong leader despite his failure to deliver on his lofty promises.

Sharma expressed the party’s exasperation, saying: “Modi is frightened and frustrated. He knows the people will judge him on the basis of his performance as he was given the mandate because of his lofty promises. He betrayed the people and now wants to exploit their emotions by raising issues like terror and Pakistan.

“While we challenge the government to debate national security at any forum, we insist that elections cannot be fought solely on these issues as livelihood and development cannot be ignored.”

The Congress leader said government data showed that terror attacks had increased by 176 per cent from 2014 to 2018 and 426 jawans and 1,400 civilians had died.

“The Prime Minister said there had been no dhamaka since 2014. We want to know whether Uri, Udhampur, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Pulwama were not major attacks? Modi cannot say anything he wants, devoid of truth. We are ready to debate his government’s performance on national security,” Sharma said.

“Didn’t the Kargil intrusion, Parliament attack and the Kandahar hijack happen during BJP rule? Who released (Jaish-e-Mohammed chief) Masood Azhar? Even money was given to the terrorists at the time of release,” the Congress leader added.