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Congress Releases “Black Paper” Highlighting Modi Government’s “Failures”

Congress Releases “Black Paper” Highlighting Modi Government’s “Failures”

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Feb 8: Ahead of the government tabling a “white paper” on the country’s economy in Parliament, the Congress on Thursday released a “Black Paper” to highlight the Narendra Modi government’s failures claiming that in its ten years in power the BJP has “devastated the country’s economy, aggravated unemployment, destroyed the country’s agricultural sector, abetted crimes against women and committed grave injustices against minorities in the country.”

Releasing the “black paper” in the media conference, the Congress president and Rajya Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge said, “There is a danger to democracy in the country…In last 10 years, 411 MLAs were taken on there by the BJP. They toppled so many Congress governments. They are finishing democracy.”

The 54-page document, titled “10 Saal Anyay Kal” said the Congress was raising the main issue of unemployment, which the BJP never talks about and that discrimination was being done with non-BJP States such as Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana. “Whenever PM Modi presents his views in Parliament, he hides his failures,” the Congress president said. “Whenever we speak about the failures of the government, it is not given importance. Therefore, we want to bring out a ‘Black Paper’ and tell the public about the failures of the government,” Mr Kharge said.

The Central government had earlier announced while presenting the union budget on February 1 that it will come out with a ‘White Paper’ to compare the economic performance of 10 years of the Congress-led UPA government with that of 10 years of the BJP-led NDA government.

Responding to the Congress accusation that his tenure has been a period of injustice, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I thank Khargeji for this. The black tilak will ward off the evil as country is very happy with unprecedented growth in last 10 years. The past ten years have seen India ascend to new heights, with the country experiencing a period of unprecedented prosperity.”

The Congress said the NDA regime has given highest unemployment rate in 45 years. The total unemployment was 1 crore in 2012 but rose to about 4 crore in 2022 even though Modi promised 2 crore jobs annually, it said. Ten lakh sanctioned Central government posts remain un-filled and the unemployment rate for graduates is about 33 per cent — one in three are looking unsuccessfully for a job — the Congress stated in its document.

It also said India’s workers have experienced a lost decade, with stagnant real wages. Wages growth has been less than 1 per cent per year for all rural workers and salaried workers now earn less. The opposition party stated the prices of essential commodities were at all-time highs. It said the prices of commodities, if compared before and after 2014, rose by 120 per cent in case of LPG, 71 per cent in milk, 37 per cent in petrol, 64 per cent in diesel, 59 per cent in mustard oil and 59 per cent in atta.

On agriculture sector, the Black Paper said famers were promised a doubling of their income but instead they received pathetic MSP increases and the three farm laws were rail-roaded through parliament to enrich the PM’s corporate cronies. While 700 farmers died protesting against these black laws, Insurance companies under the PM Fasal Bima Yojna have made a profit of ₹40,000 crore, the Congress alleged.

In its “black paper”, the Congress has said the Modi years have been “marked by high rates of unemployment, economic catastrophes such as demonetisation and flawed GST, which have only increased the divide between the rich and the poor and devastated the future of millions of farmers and daily wage workers.”

Terming it “Modani Raj”, the party has also accused the Modi government of “neutering” investigative agencies despite a promise to eliminate safe havens for economic offenders and facilitating crony capitalism. Under samajik anyay or social injustice, the party has claimed that the last decade has seen “blatant discrimination and severe oppression against women, SC, STs, OBCs and minorities.” “Its politics of hatred, polarisation and divide has destroyed the social fabric of the country,” the document claims.

Under rajneetik anyay (political injustice) the Congress has accused the Modi government of remaining silent on China’s encroachments on Indian territory, “undermining the Army with the Agneepath scheme” and targeting opposition with its investigative agencies and “ending the independence of the media” along with that of the Election Commission, ED and RBI.

Kharge said the Modi government never talked about the “biggest issue in the country which is unemployment.” “They talk about Nehru but don’t talk about how many people were given jobs through public sector jobs.” Amid ongoing protests by non-BJP state governments in the national capital against “tax injustice”, Kharge said the Modi government did not release funds to states and then accuses them of not spending the money released by the Centre.

Taking a jibe at Modi’s assertion in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that he had given rights to SC/ST/OBCs, Kharge said the UPA government had also given them rights but does not want to list them. “All these are emotional issues. But giving employment is important. He should talk about it. You can talk about social justice when everyone has a share in development. Why are we insisting on the public sector? When PSUs are formed, SC-ST, OBC and tribals get employment and they don’t have to run around for daily wage jobs. It gives them stability. We want them to have steady jobs in government jobs and the public sector and if small scale industries have to be established, they should be hand held like they are given to big capitalists,” he said.

 

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