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Kharge accuses BJP of sidelining 'good work' done by UPA


New Delhi, Feb 6: Stating that government's policies were creating hardships for the people, Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday came down heavily on the BJP-led government over its alleged failure to deliver on its promises.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge

Kharge also accused the BJP of trying to sideline the "good work" done by his party over the last 70 years, saying the ruling party could not even understand in the last four years what the Congress has done in the past. Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the President's address, the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha said while demonetisation has led to job losses, high Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate has caused hardship to the people.

"When we said that the way GST is being implemented is wrong, they didn't accept it. Before Gujarat elections, they reduced GST rate in 200 items," Kharge said.

According to the Chief Economic Advisor in 2015, the pace of poverty alleviation was highest during the UPA regime between 2005-12, he claimed it was the Congress-led UPA which had implemented major programmes like the Right to Education and Food Security Act.

Noting that UPA government had announced Rs 72,000 crore farm loan waiver, Kharge demanded that the Narendra Modi government should also announce such waiver to help farmers.

"You waive loans worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore of big people, but not for farmers. We demand that farm loans should be waived," he said.

Kharge said the NDA government has budgeted only Rs 60,000 crore for MNREGA, whereas to provide wages to 4 crore BPL households, at least Rs 90,000 crore would be needed. Attacking Modi for his Pakistan policy, Kharge said the neighbouring country has been killing the jawans and sought to know from the Prime Minister how he planned to deal with the neighbouring country.

"Where is the 56 inch chest?... You speak a lot abroad, but in Parliament you don't," Kharge said referring to Modi. Kharge said the National Health Protection Scheme announced in the Budget was an "election stunt" and it cannot be implemented with just Rs 2,000 crore outlay.

Referring to BJP member Rakesh Singh's speech in which he had said that in 70 years the Congress party has not done anything, Kharge said the BJP "could not even understand even in four years what we (Congress) did in 55-60 years" which has brought a lot of benefit to the people.

"Today the steel units like Bhilai and Bokaro and dams like Bhakra-Nangal and Hirakud are due to Congress which are feeding you," he said, adding that Congress was responsible for the growth in foodgrains and milk production.

"You (BJP) tell us what did you do?" He said the BJP has changed the names of all the schemes which were launched by the UPA government and made them its own schemes. If we (Congress) had not done anything, then the people today would have not got two square meals a day. People are eating our food and drinking our milk and they (BJP) ask us what we have done," Kharge questioned.

Stating that toilets are necessary, he asked "if there is no food, will anyone think about toilet?" Kharge was speaking amid vociferous protests by members of NDA ally Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress demanding allocation of funds and projects for Andhra Pradesh. Stating that there was no similarity in the philosophies of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Kharge sought to know from the Prime Minister the coordination between the two leaders. Kharge also said the government has not even been able to meet the target which it has set for construction of toilets.

He said that Congress government had brought in Aadhaar for identification, but it is being "misused" in the BJP's rule.

"You want to scare and control everyone," he said. Stating that the GDP growth during the Congress tenure had reached 9.1 percent, Kharge said the global rating agencies' outlook for the growth rate at 7-7.5 percent looks difficult as there are elections this year.

He also said that people are anxious as the prices of both petrol and diesel have gone up. Asking the government to show its concern towards women, Kharge said that Women's reservation bill should be brought and passed in the next session of Parliament.



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