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PM Modi bases policy making on TRPs, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked the government on Friday for the mounting death toll of soldiers in militant attacks as he chaired his party’s parliamentary board meeting for the first time.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2016 15:14 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times
Rahul Gandhi,Congress vice-president,Narendra Modi
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addresses the media after meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee at the President’s House in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a prisoner of his own image and bases his policy making on TRPs, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Friday, stepping up his attack on the government.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) in absence of unwell party chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul attacked the PM on several issues, including demonetisation, increasing deaths of soldiers in militant attacks, Kashmir unrest and the BJP-led NDA government’s Pakistan policy.

“PM Modi will be judged by history as man who gifted massive political space to anti-India forces by creating an opportunistic BJP-PDP political alliance.

“The Prime Minister often asks what the Congress did in the last 60 years. The people of India know exactly what the Congress has achieved for this country. But I would like to tell the prime minister what the Congress didn’t do in 67 years,” Rahul said.

“The Congress never gave India a prime minister who was a prisoner of his own image,” he said. “We never gave India a prime minister who was ready to inflict such tremendous suffering on the people of India to protect his own persona. We never gave India a prime minister who based his entire policy making strategy on TRPs,” the Congress V-P went on.

“We never gave India a prime minister who bypassed the experience of those sitting in the institutions. The country has suffered tremendous damage as a result of the vanity and incompetence of our PM,” he told Congress parliamentarians.

Rahul has been unsparing on the PM after the government’s November 8 move to ban R 500 and R 1000 currency notes as part of an onslaught on black money and corruption. “For reasons known only to the prime minister, he confused India’s entire cash economy with black economy. He demonetised 86% of Indian bank notes and decided to experiment with the financial future of 1.3 billion people. Instead of attacking black money, he attacked the very foundations of our economy,” Rahul said.

“Even his chief economic advisor was not informed. The outgoing chief of the RBI warned him of the impending devastation, but he did not listen,” the Congress V-P said. He also quoted Centre of Monitoring Indian economy (CMIE) which claimed that the prime minister’s impromptu experiment has already cost India R 1.28 lakh crore in lost wages, cost of printing and logistics.

  • Rahul Gandhi chaired the meeting of Congress parliamentary board in absence of Sonia Gandhi who is in AIIMS
  • The meeting was called to chalk out strategies for Parliament, stalled by the Opposition for over two weeks over demonetisation
  • Rahul Gandhi urged the government to develop a coherent strategy to counter Pakistan

Demonetisation continues to stall Parliament with the opposition insisting that the PM should speak on his move in both Houses.

“The prime minister does not feel it is worth his time to sit in the house and listen to the views of its democratically elected members. Doing so could potentially prevent him from making the catastrophic policy mistakes he is currently making,” Rahul said.

“Listening to the voices of the people is the only thing that can free him from the clutches of his own image and make him an effective prime minister. Yet he consistently refuses to do so.”

Raising the issue of the mounting death of soldiers in militant attacks, Rahul said the Prime Minister had ceded space to “anti-India” forces to operate, causing the deaths of soldiers. “Our soldiers and families are paying the price. 85 soldiers have been martyred, this is the highest number of men we have lost in almost a decade,” he said.

The remarks came two days after a brazen militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nagrota left seven soldiers dead.

Rahul also questioned the effectiveness of the army’s September 29 surgical strikes against temporary terror bases across the Line of Control. “There have been 21 major attacks and hundreds of ceasefire violations since the strikes, we were told that idea behind strikes was to stop Pakistan from cross-border attacks.”

At the meeting, the Congress V-P urged the government to develop a coherent strategy to counter Pakistan and also ensure that peace and normalcy returns in Kashmir. “Today, the same person who used to ridicule us sits silently while Kashmir burns,” he said. “PM Modi will be judged by history as man who gifted massive political space to anti-India forces by creating an opportunistic BJP-PDP political alliance.”

With agency inputs)

First Published: Dec 02, 2016 12:01 IST