Congress targets Modi government over growing inequality and handling of the economy

The criticism follows Oxfam’s latest inequality report, which said the richest 1% in India now own more than 40% of the country’s total wealth, while the bottom half of the population shares just 3%

Published - January 17, 2023 09:03 pm IST - New Delhi

**EDS: IMAGE VIA @INCIndia** Karnataka: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. File

**EDS: IMAGE VIA @INCIndia** Karnataka: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took to Twitter to accuse the Narendra Modi government and the BJP of widening economic inequality in India.

The Congress chief’s attack comes a day after rights group Oxfam released its latest inequality report, in which it said the richest 1% in India now own more than 40% of the country’s total wealth, while the bottom half of the population shares just 3% of it.

Mr. Kharge said the BJP had widened the gap between the rich and the poor so much that the common man “continues to sink in its abyss”. He said on Twitter: “The richest one per cent in India owns more than 40 per cent of the country’s wealth, whereas half of the population has only three per cent left! Bharat Jodo Yatra is a movement to fill the gap of economic inequality.”

Mr. Gandhi said that the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is the voice of the people against such policies of the Modi government, which he alleged have increased poverty. He added: “Twenty-one billionaires have more wealth than 70 crore Indians. The richest one per cent population has 40 per cent wealth of India. The UPA lifted more than 20 crore people out of poverty. PM’s ‘increase poverty’ policies pushed them again into poverty. Bharat Jodo Yatra is the voice of the country against these policies of the government.”

The Congress has been accusing the Modi government of working only for a “handful of people” and said the 21 richest Indians have more wealth than 70 crore people put together. On Tuesday, the party’s general secretary in-charge of communication, Jairam Ramesh, quoted the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Narayan Rane to target the Prime Minister and Finance Minister on the possibility of recession setting in.

Mr. Rane had told reporters in Pune on Monday that if India faces an economic recession, it will happen only after June, but the Centre was making all efforts to avoid such a situation. His comments came after inaugurating the G-20’s first Infrastructure Working Group (IWG).

“Narayan Rane, Union Cabinet Minister of MSMEs - that have been destroyed since 2014 - forecasts recession in India after 6 months. He said this in Pune to a G20 gathering. What are the PM (Narendra Modi) & FM (Nirmala Sitharaman) hiding from the country?” Mr. Ramesh asked on Twitter.

The Congress leader hit out at the BJP’s claim that “the country is now moving towards politics and governance of saturation by fulfilling the requirements of the people”. “The BJP has given the country a new phrase: Governance of Saturation. It is actually Governance of Indigestion by over indulgence of meaningless slogans and one liners,” Mr. Ramesh tweeted.

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