Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reneging on his poll promises and described his special package for Bihar as a “political bluff”, saying the PM had little time for people’s problems as he was mostly busy with foreign trips.
A day after Modi sidestepped issues of caste and quotas at a rally in Bihar, Gandhi alleged the BJP-led government at the Centre and (the RSS mandarins at) Nagpur were playing a “fixed match” over job reservation for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
“The Congress is fully committed to continuing the facility of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs as per constitutional provisions,” she said at a well-attended election rally in Kahalgaon, 37 km east of Bhagalpur.
During another public meeting at the Wazirganj railway ground near Gaya, Gandhi assailed Modi for lowering the dignity of his office by criticising his political opponents on foreign soil.
“No other prime minister has ever criticised and sullied the image of his political rivals on foreign soil. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done so, showing his narrow-mindedness and low-level politics. When he does not bother about the dignity of Bihar or the nation, will he be concerned about your dignity?” she said.
Gandhi said her party, partnering the RJD and JD(U) in a secular grand alliance for the state polls, would strive to provide sufficient facilities and ensure the integration of the poor and downtrodden in the national mainstream.
She alleged that Modi had little care or concern for the people of the country. “He is spending most of his time on foreign visits. He loves to hug big people abroad but does not have time to wipe the tears of his own countrymen,” she said.
The Congress chief said the Modi government had slashed the budget for all social welfare schemes and blamed its ‘anti-people’ policies for putting cereals, especially pulses, out of the reach of the common man.
“Our government maintained oil prices despite international market upheavals. Now that oil prices have come down to half, the benefit is not being passed on to the people. Modi never keeps his promises. The Congress never promises the moon but keeps its promises,” she said.
Gandhi questioned the Modi government catch phrase “sabka sath, sabka vikas” and said it was discriminating against states ruled by non-BJP parties.
“Bihar is at a crossroads. The results of the Bihar elections will determine the future of the country. It will decide whether the country goes on a course of confrontation or settles for peace and respect to all sections of the society,” she said.