The Congress on Friday focussed on 10 moves taken by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government during the coronavirus pandemic, including the lockdown and the three farm laws, which the opposition party said could have been avoided.
“10 Modi made crises that could have been avoided but have instead devastated our nation. #BJPseNaHoPayega,” the grand old party posted on Twitter along with a video. In a one-minute clipping, the Congress slammed the government for India being on the spot in terms of Covid-19 tally, ‘ill-planned” lockdown decision, farms laws and “lying” on Chinese intrusion in Ladakh.
Among others issues, the Congress targeted the government over the migrant workers’ crisis, scams amid the pandemic, Covid-19 relief package, passing of bills without discussion in the Rajya Sabha, allowing gross violations of human rights in Uttar Pradesh and lying about data related to migrants, Covid-19 and jobs. The party added that the list goes on and on.
Here’s a look at some of Congress’ key allegations against the Modi government
1. Ill-planned 8pm lockdown
The Sonia Gandhi-led party slammed the government for suddenly announcing the 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 when the coronavirus disease had claimed 12 lives and there were more than 500 confirmed cases in the country. Prime Minister Modi had stated that a shutdown was the only way to break the chain of infections.
The Congress has time and again slammed the move as “ill-planned” saying that the government did not take into consideration the plight of migrants and daily-wage workers. It had also called the lockdown a “pause” and not a solution for the crisis at hand.
2. Migrant workers’ crisis
The grand-old party also took note of the migrant workers’ crisis as scores of them across states had to walk back on foot to their home states as no transport was available during the initial days of the lockdown. Former party president Rahul Gandhi also met some migrants in Delhi in May. In a video, the migrants were seen saying that more than the coronavirus, hunger is hurting them and that is why they were not afraid of getting killed on the roads.
3. Scams amid pandemic
In the video on Friday, the party accused the government of leading scams amid the pandemic but did not reveal any details about the claim it made in this regard. It was an apparent reference to senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah’s allegation that the BJP government in the state was involved in a Rs 2,200 crore scam related to the purchase of Covid-19 related equipment.
4. Lied on Chinese intrusion
The Congress had earlier too attacked the Centre over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) intrusion amid an ongoing border standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. A row had erupted over a defence ministry statement on August 4 that acknowledged that the Chinese army had transgressed into multiple areas in the sensitive sector but was taken down two days later.
5. Jumla relief package for the economy
The Congress renewed its attack on the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package that the government launched in view of the coronavirus crisis. Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram had earlier said, “There is nothing in what the finance minister said for the lakhs of poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers who have walked — and many thousands are still walking — back to their home states. This is a cruel blow dealt to those who toil every day,”
6. Black farm bills that will destroy farmers, benefit crony capitalists
Days after concluding several tractor rallies in Punjab and Haryana, the Congress again accused the Modi government of passing “black farm bills” during the monsoon session of Parliament. The party was referring to The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, which were cleared in the Rajya Sabha amid a ruckus by the Opposition parties that the bills were passed without voting.
7. Gross violations of human rights in UP
In an apparent reference to the gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman by four “upper caste” men in UP’s Hathras district, the Congress has alleged the government has allowed gross violations of human rights in the state. This comes after the victim died last week in a Delhi hospital and her body was cremated by the UP police at 2:30am the following day against the wishes of her family members, who were allegedly locked inside their home and were being threatened. A Congress delegation, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, met the victim’s family members and assured them of support in seeking justice for their daughter.
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