Congress ‘black paper’ on ‘Modi government’s failures’ focuses on unemployment and neglect of non-BJP States

Whenever the PM presents his views in Parliament, he hides his failures, says Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge

February 08, 2024 11:09 am | Updated 08:38 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders release a poster against the PM Modi government during a press conference in New Delhi on February 8, 2024.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders release a poster against the PM Modi government during a press conference in New Delhi on February 8, 2024. | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

Hours before Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled a white paper on the state of economy during United Progressive Alliance (UPA) years, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday released a “black paper” to highlight the failures of the Narendra Modi government and described the last 10 years as a “period of injustice” (anyaykaal) and discrimination against non-BJP States.

Titled “10 saal anyay kaal,” the 54-page document of the Congress focuses on issues like unemployment, inflation, subversion of institutions, farmers’ distress, and alleged injustices against women and minorities, among others. The ‘black paper’ also alleged that India has become “electoral autocracy” and cited the V-Dem institute, hitting out at the government over the Manipur issue as well as border situation with China.

“Whenever PM [Narendra] Modi presents his views in Parliament, he hides his failures. At the same time, when we speak about the failures of the government, it is not given importance. Therefore, we thought of bringing out a black paper and tell the public about the failures of the government,” Mr. Kharge told reporters at a press conference at his official residence.

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Responding to Prime Minister Modi’s charge that the Congress was creating a North-South divide, Mr. Kharge said those who falsely accuse others of promoting division and regionalism, do not even remember their own words.

“Modi ji, when you were the Chief Minister of Gujarat, you used to talk about the tax rights of Gujarat with the UPA government. Then you said that States should get 50% tax. You also said that people of Gujarat pay ₹48,600-crore tax and get only 2.5% back,” Mr. Kharge said.

“Non-BJP ruled States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are being discriminated against and neglected. They [Centre] don’t release funds and then say we have released the funds but it was not spent. They purposely stall work... this is a big conspiracy of the BJP,” he added.

The Congress chief said whenever Prime Minister is asked about inflation, he talks of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Earlier, he had promised two crore jobs every year and minimum support price (MSP) to farmers but since they could not be fulfilled, Mr. Kharge claimed, the Prime Minister has made new promises as “Modi guarantees”.

“The Congress ensured country’s Independence and in 2024, it will take country out of BJP’s ‘darkness of injustice’,” claimed Mr. Kharge.

The Congress accused the BJP of using Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on donors and forcing them to provide funds through the route of electoral bonds. “They are using this money to finish democracy. They made 411 MLAs cross over to their side. We had elected governments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand. You know how governments were made to fall,” he alleged.

The Congress chief also informed that he lodged a police case recently after he received an abusive call. “When I was small, we lost so much. Only I was left along with my father in my family.... But they target me, defame me, abuse me. A person who is a Scheduled Caste has no one behind him. They want to defame such a person,” he said.

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