Published: February 8, 2018 3:24 am
OPPOSITION LEADERS used adjectives like “intolerant” and “arrogant” to launch an attack on the government during the discussion on the motion: Thanks to the President’s Speech Wednesday. Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma alleged there was a big scam in the Rafale deal as the price at which the planes were negotiated were four times higher and benefited private firms. “You can definitely rope in private sector but you cannot compromise country’s defence security…. You give entire deal to a private entity,” he asked.
Sharma said the Modi government scrapped the 2005 deal signed during the UPA regime for purchase of 126 jets at a rate of Rs 526 crore each and inked a fresh pact in 2015 to purchase 36 jets at a much higher rate of Rs 15,070 crore each. Sharma said, “The Presidential address did not have anything on foreign policy or problems with China, the situation in Nepal or Maldives, but just mentioned old schemes without talking about the ground reality.”
Hitting back at BJP President Amit Shah, who had said that Congress left nothing in heritage to the current government, Sharma highlighted steps taken by former Prime Ministers Jawarharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. “The country has so many achievements. You say nothing has been done. This is showing disrespect to history and leaders,” he said.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, “In 2004, when the Vajpayee government left office, annual per capita income was Rs 24,000. In 2014, when the Manmohan Singh-led government ended its term, this had risen to Rs 70,000. In contrast, the debt during the NDA rule has risen. It was clear who is digging potholes.”
Patel said, “The BJP will be defeated in 2019 as everyone including farmers are worried. The Union Budget, on which the government had pinned its hopes, has turned out to be a flop. Not just the opposition, but BJP allies like the Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam or the Shiromani Akali Dal did not seem to agree with the rosy projections being painted.”
CPI leader D Raja said the government has been working against the political democracy in the country and deepened the social inequality through its policy of “divide and misrule.” He said the nation was passing through a very critical period and there was all-pervasive crisis in economic, political, social and cultural life and in the organs of the state including judiciary.