New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) The Congress has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for only highlighting abrogation of Article 370 in the Assembly poll campaigns and dared him to tell the people who split Pakistan into two.
“Wherever the Prime Minister goes, he only remembers (Article) 370. He (Modi) does not know when Pakistan was divided and by whom. It was we (Congress) who broke apart Pakistan into two. Where were you (Modi) then?” senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Saturday.
Sibal said Modi must tell the people of Haryana that it was because of the Congress that Pakistan was divided into two. “It happened under the Congress rule,” he said.
The Congress leader said what had the Modi’s BJP government done for implementation of Article 47 of the Constitution, which stated that raising the level of nutrition, standard of living and public health was the duty of the state.
“You only remember Article 370, don’t keep in mind your constitutional duties. Around 93 per cent children are not getting proper nutrition and your focus is on Article 370. You are doing this because of the Assembly polls. You don’t know about the people who are suffering,” Sibal remarked.
Sibal attacked Modi and Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah over their remarks that J&K lagged in development because of Article 370.
Citing data on poverty, infant mortality, unemployment, along with gross enrolment ratio in higher education and the human development index of Haryana, Maharashtra, UP, MP and Gujarat, Sibal said they didn’t have Article 370, but they lagged J&K on those parameters.
He also cited the US Customs and Border Protection data to say that in the past three years the number of Indians arrested for trying to illegally enter the US had trebled.
“It means a lot of poor Indians are leaving the country in search of employment opportunities and the Prime Minister should respond why is this happening as he has been running the country for the last five-and-half years,” he said.
Sibal also slammed the government over the international rating agencies downgrading India’s growth following the serious economic crisis in the country.
The senior leader said rating agency Standard and Poor in October said GDP would be 6.3 per cent and not 7.8 per cent, while Moody’s cut the forecast to 5.8 per cent and the international agencies tracking GDP pointed to the slowdown. The IMF has cut down GDP projection from 7 per cent to 6.1 per cent.
“Our economy is in crisis. The World Bank on October 13, 2019, said 6 per cent growth will be recorded as opposed to 6.8 per cent announced earlier,” he said.
Slamming the BJP, Sibal said, “While Piyush Goyal says there is no slowdown and that Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee is Left-leaning, are the IMF, World Bank and other international agencies Left-leaning too?”
The Congress leader said India’s rank has slipped on global competitiveness index to 68 from 60 while in the Global Hunger Index in 2013-14 India was at 99th position and now had slipped to 103.
He said India had slipped in the world happiness report from 117 to 140. “We were at 27 in global democracy index now we are at 42. Democracy is also in danger,” he said.
Sibal said, “we respect everyone who participated in our freedom struggle, be it Savarkar or anyone else. But you have to decide if you are a follower of Mahatma Gandhi or Savarkar.
“You (BJP) don’t know how to look at governance or public because you look at everything from Savarkar’s point of view,” he remarked.