The Congress on Friday alleged that India’s growth story is being pushed back due to the Centre’s “inept” handling of the economy and said its efforts are only directed towards “reset” of governments led by Opposition parties instead of chalking out a roadmap for the “reset of the economy”. The Opposition party also asked whether the government will now go back on its promises of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and making the country a USD 5 trillion economy.
“It is evident now that the BJP government due to its inept handling of the economy, no focus, and cluelessness, is pushing the Indian growth story back,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said at a press conference. Citing the GDP growth numbers, he said India has seen a growth of only 3 per cent in the last three years and accused the government of “destroying” the Indian economy. “These are highly worrying numbers, with prospects not looking very bright due to inaction by the Modi government. Even SBI had a downward growth forecast for FY23 from 7.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent,” he said, noting that other global banks and rating agencies have followed the same trend.
His remarks came after official data released on Wednesday showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 13.5 per cent year-on-year compared to a 20.1 per cent expansion a year back and 4.09 per cent growth in the previous three months to March.
The RBI, in its monetary policy meeting earlier this month, had projected the Indian economy to grow at 16 per cent in Q1 2022-23, but the estimates put the growth at 13.5 per cent, Vallabh said. Industries such as mining and quarrying have contracted by 14 per cent as compared to Q1 2019-20 whereas manufacturing, a heavy employment generator, has grown at a snail’s pace of 7 per cent in three years, he said.
“The Indian economy needs a reset as soon as possible due to changing global dynamics and India’s sluggish growth, but the finance minister didn’t blink an eye on these worrying data points. “The government’s efforts are only directed towards the reset of Opposition governments instead of chalking out a roadmap for the reset of the economy,” Vallabh said.
The Congress has repeatedly accused the BJP of working to topple governments led by Opposition parties in various states, a charge denied by the saffron party.
He said retail inflation continues to be above the RBI’s tolerance band of 6 per cent, sitting at 6.71 per cent in July 2022.
Making an unsparing attack on the Congress that has seen an exit of many senior leaders in recent times, BJP chief J P Nadda on Friday mocked the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, telling it to first keep its flock together. Taking a dig at the Congress during a rally in Haryana’s Kaithal, he also accused it of being a family-centric party.
“The Congress is now neither a party of ideology nor a national party, nor even a regional party. It has been reduced to a brother-sister party,” Nadda said apparently referring to former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi.
Referring to senior Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad’s exit from the party, he said the people who spent 50 years for it and gave their blood and sweat are deserting it. “Did you ever think why are they leaving,” the BJP chief asked, adding that senior leaders are quitting with a message that the party first needs to keep its flock together.
“Now, they are talking of Bharat Jodo, Bharat Jodo, ‘arrey pehle party toh jod lo’ (unite the party first),” he added. A similar suggestion was given by Azad to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in his resignation letter, saying before starting the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the leadership should have undertaken a “Congress jodo” exercise across the country.
The Congress will commence next week its Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. The yatra will cover 3,750 km over a period of 150 days.
Nadda further said the BJP and the governments led by it are working to take the country and states ahead and bringing a change in the lives of people, including weaker sections and women.
Nadda also alleged that in the past 70 years whenever there was a Congress rule and those of other parties, they tried to divide society and made a brother fight against his brother, pitted one caste against the other, one region against the other for the sake of power. He said today the country is not only making progress, “but we are progressing with leaps and bounds”.