New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) The Congress today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “playing” with the economy and asked whether he would use the “Shahzada” model to lift the growth rate, in an apparent swipe at the row over the alleged rise in the fortunes of a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah’s son.
The BJP and Congress leaders have been using the term “shahzada” (prince) to target each other.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had engaged in a wordplay to mount an attack on the BJP chief for his son’s business dealings. Modi has often referred to Gandhi as shahzada.
Congress spokesperson R P N Singh also termed today’s meeting of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Committee as a mere “eyewash” ahead of elections.
“Finally, Modiji decided to restart the PMEAC–with the same people who were appointed in the Niti Aayog and did precious little to improve the economic situation. This is nothing but an eyewash, due to the upcoming 2019 elections,” he told reporters.
Singh also took a swipe at Modi, claiming that he had come in the forefront to make all announcements, but for the “Beta Bachao” or save the son plan he had put his ministers forward instead of speaking up on the issue himself.
He was referring to several Union ministers coming forward in support of the BJP chief’s son, Jay Amit Shah.
“It would have been better had he himself come forward and spoken on the beta bachao plan launched by several ministers,” he claimed.
Posing a set of questions to the prime minister for the “downturn”, the Congress leader asked why he had appointed the PMEAC after 3.5 years.
“Is it the simple reason of the impending Lok Sabha elections in 2019? Is it just eyewash?” he asked.
“Will the Modi government use the ‘Shahzaada’ model to increase the economic growth of India? Just like Shri Amit Shah’s son increased his fortunes, will Modi ji do the same for India?,” he alleged.
He accused the prime minister of “playing with India’s economy and thrusting it towards bankruptcy”.
Singh said the PMEAC, an institution designed to guide on a serious and complicated subject like the economy which affected the lives of crores of people, was “wound up” by the central government.
The Congress leader claimed the economy of the country was in “shambles as there are no jobs, unemployment is rising an consumer confidence at a three-year low”.
He alleged that with festivals round the corner, people had no money in their accounts due to “the prime minister’s personal agenda of downgrading the economy”.
“Savings are being destroyed–jobs down, growth down, investments down, exports down. The poor of the country are facing untold miseries,” he claimed.
“PM Narendra Modi has finally accepted his government s glaring failures in destroying the Indian economy. Today, after 3.5 years it has dawned on him that the prime minister needs an economic advisory council to manage the complex economy of India,” he said.
Singh alleged that urban unemployment had risen to 8.2 per cent and hit an 11-month high and sales had taken a 36 per cent hit ahead of Diwali. Small traders were worried, businesses were suffering and consumer confidence was at a three year low, he alleged.
Quoting RBI’s Consumer Confidence Survey for September, he said according to it 40.7 per cent of the surveyed people feel that the economic conditions had worsened this year as opposed to 25.3 per cent last year.
“Moreover, 43.7 per cent feel employment opportunities have dwindled as opposed to 31.9 per cent last year,” he said.
Singh also asked the prime minister about the 2 crore jobs per year which he had promised and why the consumer confidence was at a new low.
“Why are farmers not getting adequate MSP? What about your manifesto promise of 50 per cent plus profit,” he asked.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.