It is clear that our GDP growth will be devastated. India’s poor have been landed a body blow. Millions of migrant laborers and farmers have been crushed: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul gandhi congress party leader Fri, 16 Dec 2016

It is clear that our GDP growth will be devastated. India’s poor have been landed a body blow. Millions of migrant laborers and farmers have been crushed: Rahul Gandhi

 It is clear that our GDP growth will be devastated. India’s poor have been landed a body blow. Millions of migrant laborers and farmers have been crushed: Rahul Gandhi 

 I would like to honour the soldiers, officers and civilians who have lost their lives to terrorists over this year. The Congress party stands with their families. We are grateful for the tremendous sacrifice they have made to safeguard our nation. I would also like to pay homage and offer condolence to the 80 people who have lost their lives as a result of demonetization and to the victims of the unfortunate train accident in Pukhrayan, Kanpur.  

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the frequent terror attacks on our Officers and Soldiers including the attack on the Nagrota base.  

 The Prime Minister often asks what the Congress did in the last 60 years? The people of India know exactly what the Congress has achieved for this country. But I would like to tell the Prime Minister what the Congress didn’t do in 67 years. 

 The Congress never gave India a Prime Minister who was a prisoner of his own image. We never gave India a Prime Minister who was ready to inflict such tremendous suffering on the people of India to protect his own persona. We never gave India a Prime Minister who based his entire policy making strategy on TRP’s. We never gave India a Prime Minister who bypassed the experience of those sitting in the institutions.  The country has suffered tremendous damage as a result of the vanity and incompetence of our PM

 When he was CM of Gujarat, he used to ridicule our Pakistan policy. Well, our Pakistan policy resulted in the complete global isolation of Pakistan and brought peace in Kashmir. By the time Congress left government in 2014 - 50 plane loads of tourists were landing in Srinagar airport every day.  

 Today the same person who used to ridicule us sits silently while Kashmir  burns.  Narendra Modi will be judged by history as the man who gifted massive political space to anti India forces by creating an opportunistic political alliance between the BJP and the PDP. He has created the political vacuum that gives the terrorists space to operate. But who is paying the price? Not the Prime Minster of India. Not the Defence Minister.  Our brave soldiers and their families are paying the price.  85 soldiers have been martyred. That is the highest number of men we have lost in almost a decade.  

 We gave the government our full support during the surgical strikes. We will always support any action that helps India defeat terrorism. But policy cannot be based on ad hoc responses to events. The price of not taking actions though is simply too high. It is high time that the government develops a coherent strategy. We were told that the idea behind the strikes was to stop Pakistan from cross border attacks. There have been 21 major attacks and hundreds of ceasefire violations since the strikes.  

 The Defence Minister said in Goa Two days later  terrorists  walked  into the most highly defended army base in Jammu, straight into the officer’s mess and murdered our officers and men in cold blood.  Is the government not responsible for maintaining the security of our bases? Are these young men just statistics destined to gather dust in the records of the government of India?  Does the Govt not owe them an apology? 

 The Government has got  itself into a complete mess with regards to Pakistan. Their policy on Pakistan is a complete failure. Why must the people of India suffer long speeches and irresponsible statements while militants supported by Pakistan walk into our army bases and kill our jawans at will?

 Now, I would like to say a little about the domestic front.  

I want to begin by saying that the Congress party will put its full weight behind any genuine move to fight corruption and black money. We will support the government in any move that combats the scourge of corruption

 On 8th November the Prime Minister single handedly decided to declare war on the world’s fastest growing economy. A huge portion of India’s poor people use cash. These are honest hard working people.  

Farmers need cash to buy seeds.

Small shopkeepers need cash to trade their products.

Fishermen need cash.

Daily laborers are paid in cash.

Housewives save cash for use on a rainy day.

All cash is not black money and all black money is not cash.

It is a documented fact that only 6 percent of black money is held in cash. The remaining 94 percent is held in gold, real estate and dollars stashed abroad. This is well understood by the Prime Minister. In 2014 he had promised to bring back black money held in foreign banks and deposit 15 lakh rupees in every Indian bank account. How much money has he got back? Not one rupee. How many people has he put behind bars? Not one. He has clearly failed to deliver his promise.

 On November 8th he suddenly decided to change tack. For reasons known only to the prime minister, he confused India’s entire cash economy with the black economy. He demonetized 86 percent of Indian bank notes and decided to experiment with the financial future of 1.3 billion people. Instead of attacking black money, he attacked the very foundations of our economy. Even his chief economic advisor was not informed. The outgoing chief of the RBI warned him of the impending  devastation, but he did not listen. As per the Centre of Monitoring Indian economy (CMIE), the Prime Minister’s impromptu experiment has already cost India 1.28 lakh Crores in lost wages, cost of printing and logistics. 

 The results of this catastrophic experiment will soon be revealed to the entire world. Every economist of any repute has already  condemned  it and questioned its capacity to realize the goals it is supposed to achieve. Modi ji has created a massive new corrupt black market that is working overtime to convert the black money to white. It is a known fact that BJP units in numerous states were told of the PM’s decision beforehand. The Bengal unit made large deposits just before the decision. The Bihar unit made massive investments in real estate just prior to the decision. 

  It is clear that our GDP growth will be devastated. India’s poor have been landed a body blow. Millions of migrant laborers and farmers have been crushed. Entire industries have been destroyed. Cash has been snatched from the hands of our women and most disturbingly, people have lost the right to access their own hard earned money. The poor stand in line while the corrupt are been given a free bypass through the new income tax law.  

The Congress party and the entire opposition are disturbed that the Prime minister does not feel it is worth his time to sit in the house and listen to the views of its democratically elected members. Doing so could potentially prevent him from making the catastrophic policy mistakes he is currently making. Listening to the voices of the people of this country is the only thing that can free him from the clutches of his own image and make him an effective Prime Minister.  Yet he consistently refuses to do so.  

Yesterday I accompanied a delegation of opposition leaders to complain to the president of India. It is a reflection of the BJP’s mindset that they choose to pass the “Amendments to  Income Tax” bill in the din without allowing for a discussion. It is an insult to the Institution. 

 As a responsible political party we will keep the interests of the country foremost. The next few weeks are going to be critical and we will do our best to support the nation as it struggles to overcome the shock it has received as a result of this badly conceived and incompetently implemented experiment.  I urge all Congressmen to rise to the occasion and act as force of stability in the nation. Thank you