In a strong attack on the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, Chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said foundation of our democracy have come under systematic assault during the NDA rule , an all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation created and the pluralistic nature of our society was s being eroded.
Addressing a meeting of the Congress parliamentary party, Mrs Gandhi described the union budget for 2018-19, presented in the Lok Sabha by finance minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, as full of ‘jumlas’ and ‘oft-repeated but impossible to achieve promises to double farmer incomes in five years’.
Questioning the silence of the government on the deal for Rafale fighter jets, Mrs Gandhi said government wss resorting to fictitious arguments to justify the secrecy about the price of one of India’s biggest defence purchases.
Lauding the Congress workers for the party’s creditable performance in Gujarat and the recent by-election results in Rajasthan mrs gabdhi said the Gujarat election results and that of Rajasthan bypolks showed that the winds of change are coming and expressed confidence that the election results in Karnataka would underline the resurgence of the Congress.
Asking the Congress workers to be in a state of readiness for the lok sabha elections , she called on them to channel disillusioned with the present regime among various sections into support for the Congress.
Describing Rahul as her ‘boss’, she expressed confidence that all partymen will work cohesively under his leadership to revive the fortunes.of the Congress.Noting that foundation of our democracy have come under systematic assault during the NDA rule, Mrs Gandhi said, ‘it has been almost four years since this government came to power.
This has been a period in which institutions that are at the foundation of our democracy have come under systematic assault—Parliament itself, the judiciary, media and civil society.
Investigative agencies have been let loose against political opponents. An all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation has been created. Liberal, secular and democratic traditions are being wantonly damaged. The pluralistic nature of our society—which has been its strength for centuries—is being eroded.’
Describing the union budget for 2018-19, presented in the Lok Sabha by finance minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, as full of ‘jumlas’, Mrs Gandhi said the document was full of ‘oft-repeated but impossible to achieve promise to double farmer incomes in five years’.
‘The last budget is full of sleights of hand – of jumlas — such as the oft-repeated but impossible to achieve promise to double farmer incomes in five years, and the promises of increased support prices without clarifying their basis.
The disinvestment figures have been exaggerated by including the sale of equity in one public sector company to another, a revised health insurance scheme has been passed off as new and proposed without adequate preparation or worse, budgetary support,’Mrs Gandhi said.
Describing the New schemes announced in the budget as ‘simply recycled schemes that were launched during the UPA government’, Mrs Gandhi said, ‘ this government announces what it calls new programmes and initiatives ever so often, unveiling them with the flourish of a magician.
In reality, they are simply recycled schemes that were launched during the UPA government. True, the new names are catchy and colourful, perhaps much more so than during our time, we must admit. But this seems to be a game of Maximum Publicity, Minimum Government, or put another way, Maximum Marketing, Minimum Delivery.’
She said the Modi government was out of touch with ground realities which was reflected in the PM ‘s speech in parliament on Wednesday.
‘If this government is to be believed, India had accomplished nothing before May 2014. The arrogance and dishonesty of thistells us that the Modi government is out of touch with reality, and lives by its own propaganda and lies. We need no further evidence of this than the Prime Minister’s speech in the Lok Sabha yesterday morning,’Mrs Gandhi said.
Describing the ‘tall claims’ being made of so-called economic achievements as being far removed from reality, she said, ‘tall claims are being made of so-called economic achievements, but the reality is quite different. Agriculture continues to be in deep distress and the desperation of farmers is sadly evident in the number of suicides. The rural economy and small and medium enterprises,are in shambles.
Unemployment is staring at our youth. New jobs are not only not being created, but existing jobs themselves are being lost. Employment cannot happen without new investments and the fact is that there has been a marked decline in the rate of investment over the past four years.’