New Delhi: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday attacked the Narendra Modi government, alleging that communal forces were raising their head, weaker sections were being suppressed, the freedom of speech was being snatched and women and children were not feeling safe.
Taking part in the motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, Kharge also attacked Modi over loss of lives due to frequent ceasefire violations in Kashmir and asked where was his “56-inch-chest.”
Kharge spoke amid sloganeering by TDP members who were protesting near the Speaker’s podium over their demand to fulfil promises to Andhra Pradesh on the state reorganisation bill. Congress President Sonia Gandhi repeatedly said “shame, shame” as Kharge levelled charges against the government.
Demanding a loan waiver for farmers and tabling of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the next session of parliament, he also accused Modi of only letting industrialists benefit and doing little for the farmers, poor and Dalits. He said Modi should change his anti-corruption slogan “Na khaunga, na khane dunga” to “Na khaunga, na khane dunga pur doston ko zarur khilaunga (Will not indulge in corruption, will not allow to others to do so but will make my friends benefit).”
Referring to BJP criticism of Congress performance during nearly 60 years of its rule, Kharge listed some of his party’s achievements from the time of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, saying it made the country self-sufficient, capable, full of self-respect and kept democracy alive.
“What have you done. The communal forces are raising their head. Weaker sections are feeling suppressed, the freedom of speech is being taken away and women and children are not secure,” Kharge said.
He said the Congress governments brought the Green and the White Revolutions ensuring easy availability of food and milk. “… Stomachs are not filled by beautiful slogans and jumlas,” he said.
He said Modi may have given a good speech in Davos but investors will be hesitant to come upon learning of attacks by cow vigilantes and amid reports of violence from places in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Kharge said the Modi government has changed name of several UPA schemes to seek their ownership.
He accused the government of misusing Aadhar, saying UPA had brought it to curb leakages in government programmes, but it wanted to “scare people, want to keep everyone in your control”.
Referring to deal to purchase fighter jets from France, he alleged that NDA government was purchasing them almost at three times the price negotiated by the UPA government.
The Congress leader said his party-lead UPA government had taken the GDP growth to over nine percent but this had fallen sharply due to demonetisation and faulty implementation of Goods and Services Tax. He said the government is unlikely to achieve its GDP growth targets in an election year while also targeting it on job creation.
Referring to the rising petrol and diesel prices he said the government had failed to pass on the benefits of fall in crude oil price to people and had earned a “profit” of over Rs 6 lakh crore. “Where have you spent the money, in which scheme,” he asked.
On triple talaq, he said criminalisation part should be taken out of the proposed law.
He urged the Prime Minister to intervene in the Mahadayi River water row between Karnataka and Goa and said Modi should speak more in the house.