With Prime Minister Narendra Modi completing nine years in office, the Congress on Friday asked him nine questions on issues such as rising prices, unemployment and farmers’ income, and demanded an apology for the “betrayal” during his tenure.
The Opposition party also said the government should mark this day as ‘Maafi Diwas’.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had raised critical issues during the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the nine questions are based on that, party general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh told a press conference at the All India Congress Committee headquarters here.
Mr Ramesh, who was flanked by party leaders Pawan Khera and Supriya Shrinate, also released a booklet ‘Nau saal, Nau sawaal’ and said PM Modi had become the prime minister on this day nine years ago and therefore, the party wants to ask nine questions of him.
“We want the PM to break his silence on these nine questions,” Jairam Ramesh said.
Posing the questions to the prime minister, he asked, “Why is it that inflation and unemployment are skyrocketing in India? Why have the rich become richer and the poor poorer? Why is public property being sold to PM Modi’s friends, even as economic disparities are increasing?” Mr Ramesh also asked why is it that the agreements made with farmers while repealing the three “black” farm laws have not been honoured and why has the minimum support price not been legally guaranteed. Why didn’t farmers’ income double over the last nine years, he asked.
Accusing the government of indulging in corruption and cronyism, Mr Ramesh queried why the prime minister is putting people’s hard-earned savings in LIC and SBI at risk to benefit his “friend” Adani.
“Why are you letting thieves escape? Why are you silent on rampant corruption in BJP-ruled states, and why are you letting Indians suffer,” he asked.
On the issue of national security, Jairam Ramesh said the Congress wants to ask “Why is it that even after your clean chit to China in 2020, they continue to occupy Indian territory”.
He also asked why deliberate “politics of hatred” for electoral gains were being used, and alleged that an atmosphere of fear in society was being fuelled.
“Why are you silent on the atrocities against women, Dalits, SC, ST, OBCs and minorities? Why are you ignoring the demand for a caste census,” Mr Ramesh said in another poser.
He also questioned the government over democracy and federalism, alleging that it has “weakened” our Constitutional values and democratic institutions in the last nine years.
Pawan Khera alleged that the promises made by the government in the last nine years were detached from reality.
“So when we demand answers, don’t take us 900 years back. Everyone wants to know what you did in the last nine years ….We would urge you (prime minister) to apologise during the events being held in the next five days for the betrayal of the country in the last nine years,” he said.
Mr Ramesh asked, “Why are you practising politics of revenge against Opposition parties and leaders and why are you using blatant money power to destabilise governments elected by the people?”.
He alleged that the government had “weakened” the schemes for the welfare of the poor, needy and tribals by cutting their budgets and making restrictive rules.
“Why is it that despite the tragic deaths of over 40 lakh people due to COVID-19, the Modi government has refused to compensate their families? Why did you suddenly impose a lockdown which forced lakhs of workers to return home, and not provide any support?” Mr Ramesh asked.
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