Cong slams ‘catastrophic mishandling’ of economy; says every aspect of democracy ‘diminished’


PTI, Oct 17, 2021, 8:15 AM IST

The Congress on Saturday hit out at the Centre over what it said was ”catastrophic mishandling” of the economy and also alleged that every aspect of democracy had been ”diminished” under the Modi government.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) passed three resolutions — on the political situation of the country, on inflation and on the acute agrarian distress and diabolical attack on India’s farmers.

In a resolution on the political situation in the country, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) said the ”assault on democratic institutions completes the sad and shameless narrative of the Modi government”.

”India is no longer regarded as a democracy, it has earned the label of an electoral autocracy. Parliament has been contemptuously disregarded. The judiciary has been debilitated by not filling vacancies in courts and tribunals,” the CWC said.

In its resolution on the farmers’ plight, the Congress said the ”brutal” mowing down of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri was a manifestation of the government’s ”continuing arrogance” and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not sacking Union minister Ajay Mishra whose son has been arrested in connection with the incident.

The resolution alleged that the last seven years have witnessed a ”diabolical design” to attack the livelihood of ‘annadatas’ and landless farm labourers.

Referring to the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people died, four of them farmers allegedly knocked down by a vehicle carrying BJP workers, the CWC said that ”the brutal mowing down of farmers is a manifestation of the continuing arrogance”.

”This incident was preceded by the Union minister (of state) for home affairs, himself an accused in a case of murder in which the high court has reserved judgment for 43 months, publicly threatening the farmers with dire consequences, while flaunting his own dubious antecedents,” the Congress said.

Despite his son having been accused and arrested under relentless public pressure, Prime Minister Modi ”shamelessly” refuses to remove Ajay Mishra as the Union minister of state for home affairs, it said.

On October 3, after the four farmers were knocked down, infuriated people allegedly lynched some people in the vehicles. The other dead included two BJP workers and their driver. A journalist was also killed in the incident.

Farmers claimed that Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish was in one of the vehicles, an allegation denied by him and his father who say they can produce evidence to prove he was at an event at that time.

Ashish Mishra ‘Monu’ was arrested in the case on October 9 after 12 hours of questioning, and a court has accepted his police custody from October 12 to October 15.

The CWC also flagged the agitation by farmers against the agri laws, saying ”a government imbued with arrogance has refused to engage the farmers in talks and has stood as a mere bystander, while the police and rogue elements in the BJP have unleashed violence upon them”.

The tragic incident at Lakhimpur Kheri is a clear example of official support to the attempt to suppress the voice of the farmers, it alleged.

”The refusal of the Prime Minister to condemn the brutal murder of the farmers and to sack the Minister of State for Home Affairs have shocked the conscience of the country,” the resolution said.

In its resolution on the political situation, the Congress also expressed grave concern over the Centre’s move to grant more powers to the Border Security Force. The party said it will consult other political parties as well as state governments and formulate a course of action to compel the Modi government to repeal the order on it.

The resolution also stated that the aggressive posture of China and the unabated infiltrations by Pakistan have resulted in a ”dramatic deterioration” in the security situation of Jammu & Kashmir.

In a resolution on inflation and the economic situation of the country, the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body said, the ”continued slide” of the economy is a matter of great concern.

”After the sharp decline in 2020-21, the Modi government boasted of a V-shaped recovery. All signs point to an uneven and struggling recovery in different sectors,” the resolution said.

”The jobs that were lost during the recession and the pandemic have not been recovered, the micro and small units that were shut down have not been re-started. Millions of families face the twin hardships of unemployment and high prices,” the party said.

The resolution alleged the Modi government is bent upon ”robbing” the people of India by all-round inflation and is completely oblivious to the economic worries and challenges being faced by the average Indian.

The irony is these challenges are the direct result of the Modi government’s ”catastrophic mishandling” of the economy that has created an ”abyss of economic uncertainty” that has swallowed the minimum income and savings of the average Indian.

”Nearly 14 crore jobs have been lost, salaries have been cut drastically, lakhs of MSMEs have been shut down and small shopkeepers are struggling to stay afloat,” the CWC said.

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