The Congress party's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha and former cabinet minister Anand Sharma said the right-wing Hindu nationalist volunteer group, the Rashtriya Swayam Sangh (RSS), was "controlling" the functioning of every central ministry and ministers in the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi were "not independent entities".
Addressing a press conference at the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) headquarters on Sunday, he said the RSS' "control over the BJP and the government it led was the worst kind of remote control".
"The RSS says it's a sociocultural organisation and not the ruling party, but it appoints the BJP president and takes every decision by the party. This shows its duplicity and deception. One RSS appointee is in every minister's office and controlling affairs at the ministry. That it has been indulging in nepotism of the worst kind has become quite evident now," he added.
Sharma also accused the BJP-led NDA government of keeping various educational institutions "headless for want of the RSS' nod."
"The government wants to control the country's education system and every appointment is being cleared by the RSS. Since they aren't finding 'their man' several institutions in the country are headless. The chief information commissioner and the chief vigilance commissioner were only recently appointed following the Supreme Court's intervention after the positions remained vacant for nine months. The RSS's interference in the education system is creating fear among educationists across the country," he added.
Sharma said the BJP-led Modi government had resorted to "renaming and rebranding" the previous Congress party-led UPA government's schemes and dared the NDA government to bring out a "white paper" on overdrafts issued by state-owned banks under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana scheme. "The government claimed state-owned banks had issued overdrafts of up to Rs 5,000 in accounts opened under this scheme and should now bring out a 'white paper' on the matter. It should also release a list of beneficiaries," he added.
"Modi talks about 'Jan Shan, Aadhar and Mobile while all these elements were launched and promoted by the previous UPA government. The Reserve Bank of India floated a money inclusion scheme in 2006, later named as the 'Swabhiman' scheme in 2011, and the NDA government has renamed it 'Basic Saving Bank Deposit Account.' People of the country are feeling cheated since the government has done nothing for them despite its tall claims," he added.
"Investments, both foreign and domestic, have taken a dive while both manufacturing and the country's exports have steadily decreased. The BJP-led NDA government has slashed funding for various social security schemes. There has been a fund cut of `21, 000 crore in the education sector and of `4,000 crore in the school midday meal scheme," he said.
Hitting out at BJP ministers, Sharma said their "boastful claims about the army operation along the Myanmar border were uncalled for. Several statements targeting other nations were issued, which also embarrassed Myanmar. National security was compromised as the identity of paramilitary commandos and the army's future plans were revealed," he added.
On the question of whether Rahul Gandhi was eligible for the party's top post, Sharma said: "Yes, he is and it's for the party to take a decision. After all he's been elected to the Lok Sabha thrice, has been the Congress party's general secretary and is now its vice president. If Smriti Irani can be deemed qualified to be appointed human resources minister, I don't understand why anyone should have a problem on Rahul being elevated as Congress party chief."