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– Number of people below poverty line has increased in absolute numbers over the last four years
– Biggest achievement of Dr Manmohan Singh that 14 crore people were lifted out of poverty
The party’s 84th plenary which was begun on Saturday, March 17 saw party leaders making strident attacks on the Modi government on a range of issues including corruption, problems of farmers and unemployment with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi terming the ruling alliance as “arrogant”, “power-drunk”, “dictatorial” and only working to finish the Congress in the nearly four years of its rule.
On the second day of the plenary, Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma heavily came down on the Modi government.
After Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s scathing attack against Narendra Modi-led NDA government yesterday, Congress today continued its aggressive stance in its three-day plenary session in Delhi.
On the second day of the session, senior Congress leaders Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma came down heavily on the Modi government on issues ranging from foreign policy to the state of the economy. The session, which is a first since Gandhi’s elevation to the presidential post, is called ‘Change is now’ and is aimed at projecting young faces of the party at the forefront.
The party’s 84th plenary also authorised party President Rahul Gandhi to constitute the Congress Working Committee.
* We will come back with allies and friends in 2019 and take this country forward. Spread the word that a new young dynamic leadership has taken over the Congress party. We will come back to power with friends and allies, the former finance minister P. Chidambaram said.
* Demonetisation was a big lie… They said they would put an end to black money, to corruption. Every rally of PM has been financed by nothing but black money
* Modi government inherited a strong economy. The task of development has to be continued by future generations. However, today, the Indian economy is decoupled from the world economy which is growing.
* Only yesterday Krugman said no country in the world has increased its GDP in 10 years except India. Whatever NDA may say, the record speaks for itself
* When world growth was picking up, Indian economy decoupled from that trend.
* The current phase of economic growth started in 1990s when Rajiv Gandhi sowed seeds of liberalisation. This gained momentum under Dr Manmohan Singh. Whatever the BJP, the NDA may say, records speak for themselves.
* It’s the biggest achievement of Dr Manmohan Singh that 14 crore people were lifted out of poverty. I charge BJP government they have pushed people into poverty. Demonetisation pushed people into poverty. Hundreds of people died waiting in queues to withdraw their own money from the banks. A flawed GST pushed people into poverty.
* The number of people below poverty line has increased in absolute numbers over the last four years.
* On Demonetisation: RBI is still counting and won’t tell us how much money has come back.I would like to tell the RBI officials — why don’t you go to Hundi collectors in Tirupati? They count money faster than you.
* Some thought that I wouldn’t stand here to speak to you and present the economic resolution. I draw my courage and strength from each of you. If there is steel in me it has been instilled in me by 45 years of association with Congress party.
* Modi government has mismanaged J&K dispute like never before. The atmosphere in the state is deteriorating every day. It’s obvious from the fact that our borders are insecure, be it cross border-terror or internal.
* When Modi ji was campaigning he made lots of tall promises. Those promises have not been fulfilled. He said we will provide 2 crore jobs, we have not seen even 2 lakh jobs.
* Modi government made tall promises that farmers’ income will be doubled in 6 years; it is just a jumla-type statement unlikely to be achieved. For that to achieve, a growth rate of 12% per year is necessary which is unthinkable in the current scenario. BJP-led govt messed up Indian economy.
* India stands at the crossroads. We have opportunities, but we also have challenges. Congress party will provide a new pathway to chalk out the future of our country.
* The defense expenditure of our country is no more than 1.6% of our GDP. This is far too inadequate to meet the challenges of our security apparatus and our needs
* Congress party made India what it is today. It led the freedom struggle and guided India towards development after Independence. Today, we face similar challenges of carrying forward development and social justice. UPA govt could achieve a lot because of Sonia Gandhi’s guidance
* Modi govt has disrupted India’s foreign policy. In the last four years they have made this a divisive policy. They have pursued this in a cavalier, non-serious manner.
* PM is carried away by his own propaganda. Today it is a matter of concern that we have mismanaged our relations with major capitals of the world, with major strategic partners and our immediate neighborhood.
Earlier, the party also adopted a resolution against government’s foreign policy. Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for pursuing a “personalised foreign policy”, saying it was “confused and bereft of focus and direction”.
Moving the resolution on foreign policy, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the Prime Minister was known for his “propaganda” and condemned his actions of showing disrespect to the party’s predecessors saying: “It is not an insult to the Congress party or its leaders, but an insult to the nation.”
The resolution said: “Foreign policy has always been marked with continuity with the backing of a strong national consensus. Unfortunately, the BJP government has disrupted it, and its ill-advised actions have unravelled the national consensus.
“The discarding of India’s historic role in the Non-Aligned Movement, and the continuous dismissal of our past accomplishments in foreign policy, led to the piquant situation of foreign leaders hailing Nehru’s contributions at the Indo-African Forum Summit and the 50th Anniversary of the Bandung Conference,” the resolution said.
(Box) EC should revert to ballot papers to restore credibility of electoral process: Cong (Box)
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The resolution also advocated reverting to paper ballots instead electronic voting machines (EVMs), debarring defectors from contesting elections for six years and referred to the “disquiet in the functioning of the judiciary.”
Attacking the Modi government, the former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also alleged that the government didn’t spare any effort to destroy the Congress and but the party has never bowed down to the government. The tone and tenor of the two-day plenary session, usually held every five years, was set by Mr. Gandhi’s brief speech where he accused the BJP of spreading hatred and failing to address issues such unemployment and agrarian distress.
“What is the difference between our opponents and the Congress,” Mr Gandhi asked and said, “They use hate and anger, we use love and brotherhood. The Congress believes that this country belongs to us all, every faith, caste, individual.”
The party’s political resolution talked of making sacrifices and working with other parties to keep the BJP out of power. “The Congress party is prepared to make whatever sacrifices required to defend the ethos of our Constitution,” read the resolution that adopted unanimously.
The formulation is significant in the backdrop of leaders like Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao and even NCP’s Sharad Pawar being projected as possible leaders of a Federal Front as an alternative to the NDA or UPA.