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‘Govt has no money’: Congress picks holes in President Kovind’s speech

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma claimed that the government used the President to present its false claims, in a bid to validate them.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2019 16:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma addresses a press conference in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Picking holes in President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to both Houses of Parliament, the Congress on Thursday hit out at the BJP government at the centre and said that most of the things that the government had claimed or promised had not been fulfilled.

Addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma claimed that the government used the President to present its false claims, in a bid to validate them.

Sharma said the BJP government “had failed to fulfil the promises it had made in 2014”.

“The government had promised skill development to 10 crore youths of the country. It is clear from the President’s address that only 1 crore youth benefitted from that. The government failed in providing skill development to 90% of the youth whose skills it had promised to enhance,” Sharma said.

Attacking the Modi government on the job front, Sharma said that the things said in the President’s address about increased employment and employment generation had been belied in the NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) report which, he said, the “government was trying to hide”.

“The government has inflated the numbers it has given in the address. There has been no increase in employment,” Sharma said, citing numbers from the NSSO report.

“The President spoke of the government’s achievements on a day when a report the government was trying to bury has come out,” Sharma said.

He said, “The government had been unable to develop 100 smart cities, had failed to create jobs, or develop skills and reduce poverty.”

Referring to the industries, he said that during this government’s tenure, investment in the industry had fallen by 7%.

“The President hasn’t mentioned that at all,” Sharma said.

Coming down hard once again on the government on the issue of demonetisation, he said that to term it as a success would be an insult.

“In para 68, he called it a huge success and said that it had struck at the root of corruption. There can’t be a statement further from the truth than this. The money that was demonetised belonged to the labourers, housewives, small traders, farmers. For the President to mention this in his address is insensitive and an insult to the people of the country,” Sharma said.

Hitting out at the government on the Make In India scheme, Sharma asked what is being made in India.

“Make in India should have helped increase investments in industry, industrial development should have increased and jobs should have been generated. But that is not happening. The loans given by banks to industries during this government’s tenure have been the lowest in the last in the last 4 decades,” he said.

Referring to the Rafale fighter jet without naming it, he said, “Under Make in India, the fighter jets that were to be made here haven’t been made, technology transfer has been stopped.”

Saying that the government has no money, Sharma claimed that it was now eyeing the RBI’s contingency fund. “The government is now asking the RBI to pay out the dividend early,” Sharma said.

“If the president’s speech is to be believed, everything has been done in the country. Only a spacecraft is now required,” Sharma said.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 16:15 IST