Lok Sabha Election 2019

Modi govt. is in departure lounge: Anand Sharma

Action plan: (From left) Congress leaders Urmila Matondkar, Prithviraj Chavan, Anand Sharma, Milind Deora, Eknath Gaikwad, and NCP leader Sanjay Patil (second from right) during the release of the party manifesto in Mumbai on Thursday.

Action plan: (From left) Congress leaders Urmila Matondkar, Prithviraj Chavan, Anand Sharma, Milind Deora, Eknath Gaikwad, and NCP leader Sanjay Patil (second from right) during the release of the party manifesto in Mumbai on Thursday.  

At manifesto launch in city, Congress says it is fighting elections on issues

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Thursday that the Congress manifesto spells out issues on which the party intends to fight the 2019 general elections while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making it a personality based one.

“We want to talk about development, jobs, and economy in this election. We want to contest polls on these issues, but Narendra Modi is trying to make it personality-based. We will not let it happen. We have come up with revolutionary announcements in our manifesto and want to implement those for the betterment of the people,” said Mr. Chavan at the launch of the party’s manifesto in the city by former Union minister Anand Sharma in the presence of Congress and NCP Lok Sabha candidates from Mumbai.

In a scathing attack, Mr. Sharma said the Narendra Modi government was in the “departure lounge” and the time to “threaten and mislead” people was over. He also accused Mr. Modi of lowering the political discourse, saying his language was “full of bitterness and violence.”

“He considers his political rivals as his personal enemies. We don’t want to engage in such conversation by stooping to that level,” said Mr. Sharma.

The Congress leader accused Mr. Modi of not speaking about his achievements in the past five years and instead talking about sending his opponents to jail.

“The Congress doesn’t need a certificate of nationalism and patriotism from the BJP, whose ideology supported the British and not Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during the Independence movement,” he alleged.

Referring to criticism of the Congress’s promise to scrap the sedition law and review the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Mr. Sharma said his party has “zero tolerance against terrorism” and that it was committed to strengthening the national and internal security. He claimed there were demands to scrap the sedition law which, he said, dated to the pre-Independence era.

“During the (previous) UPA rule, a record number of tourists travelled to Kashmir. What happened in the last five years (of NDA government) is for everyone to see,” he said.

Asked about doubts being raised over feasibility of the Congress’ ambitious NYAY scheme, Mr. Sharma said India was a $2 trillion economy in 2014. “There is money in the country. We will generate more wealth and re-distribute it. The Congress has better minds for fiscal management. We can give 1.5% the GDP to the poor,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 9:03:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/modi-govt-is-in-departure-lounge-anand-sharma/article26738986.ece

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