The Congress on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi government of pushing the country towards “economic anarchy” and financial emergency and asserted that the government moves on demonetisation, flawed GST (Goods and Services Tax), and the lockdown, were not “masterstrokes” but “disaster strokes”.
Citing data from the latest National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report, the Congress claimed that 116 farmers and 38 unemployed persons were forced to commit suicide in the year 2019 .
The party also said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had no moral authority to continue in her position, and said that the past “six years of act of fraud” had now been blamed on God.
Separately, in his latest video blog, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asserted that the 2016 demonetisation started the economic collapse that culminated in the contraction of GDP by 23.9% in the first quarter of 2020-21.
Also read: Rahul Gandhi lists 6 ‘Modi-made disasters’, Chidambaram asks PM to focus on economy
The move to scrap high value currency of ₹1,000 and ₹500 was an attack on the country’s poor, farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers as the informal sector survived on cash, Mr. Gandhi noted.
“The whole of India stood in front of banks, you deposited your money in your bank. The first question is: did it erase black money? No. Secondly, what was the benefit of demonetisation for the poor people of India? The answer is: nothing. So, who got the benefit? The advantage was given to India’s biggest billionaires. How? The money that you in your pockets, that you had in your homes was taken and used by the government to waive off the debts of these people,” he explained in his 3 minute and 14 seconds video.
“The second goal of demonetisation aims to wipe out cash from the system, including from informal or unorganised sectors. The Prime Minister himself said that he wanted a cashless India, a cashless Hindustan. However, if there is cashless India, the informal sector will be destroyed... Demonetisation was an attack on India’s unorganised economy and we must recognise this attack. The entire country will have to fight against it together,” he added.
Also read: Modi govt destroying informal economy, says Rahul Gandhi
Stepping up the attack on the government over the economy at a virtual press conference, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the GDP slump in the first quarter will have an adverse impact on the average income of every Indian.
He said GDP has now become “Grave Damage to Public Good” and if the GDP fell by 11% in the whole year, every India will see a loss of about ₹15,000.
The Congress alleged that while the common man was reeling under inflation and a surge in taxes, the Centre had become defaulter to the State government after refusing to pay GST compensation.
“Time to rise from the shackles of this ruinous Modi government and rediscover the aspirations and hopes of India,” the Congress spokesperson said.