A week ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Congress has picked economic management as the key issue to attack the Narendra Modi government. Comparing Modi with Roman emperor Nero, the party said while India was hurled into the abyss of coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister was busy feeding the peacocks.
The party also criticised the SBI’s reported plans to implement a VRS scheme as an ‘economy measure’. “In normal times the plan would be debatable. In these abnormal times, when the economy has collapsed and jobs are scarce, it is cruel,” said former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
He said if India’s biggest lender has to shed jobs, imagine what other big employers and MSMEs are doing. “The plan is ostensibly voluntary but we know that subtle pressure will be brought on the employees. If the current rules provide for genuine voluntary retirement, why announce a new plan and give out an exact number like 30,190?” he asked.
Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said 166 days after Modi’s announcement that the war against coronavirus will be won in 21 days, the whole country is fighting an epic battle of Mahabharata against Covid-19. He said people are dying of the disease but Modi is busy in photoshoots of bird feeding. “The battle against coronavirus rages on but the General is ‘missing-in-action’. In the fight to defeat Corona, Modi government has proved itself to be wholly impetuous, completely incompetent and utterly amateurish. In the middle of the worst pandemic ever, BJP government has disowned the people, leaving them to fend for themselves,” he claimed.
He said India is now the ‘corona capital’ of the world. “Experts believe that if the pandemic continues to increase with the same speed, by November 30, the total Corona cases would touch one crore and by December 30 to 1.40 crore. It is feared that the deaths due to the pandemic could reach as high as 1,75,000,” he said.
The Congress reiterated its charge that the “unplanned and un-thought lockdown” implemented by Modi with three-hours notice utterly failed to stop Covid-19 on one hand and destroyed the economy as also lives and livelihoods of people on the other hand. “In India’s history, this would be remembered as the Tughlaqi blunder of Modi’s failure of leadership,” he said.
Surjewala alleged that Modi government concentrated merely on winning the television narrative and earning photo-ops by din of ‘beating thalis and clapping’ and also ‘lighting lamps’. “But there was zero delivery in controlling the pandemic, arresting the spread of infection or saving the sinking economy. The war against Corona is being fought by the State governments on the ground. Instead of helping them with resources and wherewithal, Centre has refused to release their share of GST compensation,” he said.