PM Modi diverting atten from real issues: Cong

NEW DELHI, 25 Apr: The Congress on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading “lies” to divert attention from real issues in the Lok Sabha polls and challenged him to point out where in the party’s manifesto is “redistribution of wealth” mentioned.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh claimed that PM Modi “symbolises Asatyamev Jayate’.”

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Ramesh said that the Congress will not play on the pitch prepared by the BJP but “will play on the pitch of issues of unemployment and price rise.”

Ramesh claimed that the trends from the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls show that in some states, the BJP has been “wiped out” and in some states, its seats are going down as compared to the 2019 polls.

“He (PM Modi) is trying to take the agenda in another direction. He first tried to give a communal colour to our manifesto and then talked about things that are not there in the ‘nyay patra’. It is propaganda based on lies,” Ramesh said.

“He is giving publicity to our manifesto, though it is wrong publicity,” he said.

The nyay patra is based on the feedback from the people during the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, he said.

“It is very clear that due to the policies of Prime Minister Modi

unemployment has increased, price rise is not being reined in and economic inequalities have gone up,” he said.

The Congress will fight the Lok Sabha polls on nari nyay, yuva nyay, kisaan nyay, shramik nyay and hissedari nyay, he asserted.

“Ours is a positive agenda. We want to fight the polls on people’s issues such as unemployment, price rise, attack on Constitution, institutions,” he said.

Ramesh claimed that Modi has stopped raising the slogan of ‘400 paar’ and ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’, and is using a new language of polarisation.

Ramesh said, “Polarisation has always been his weapon but he is using the language of polarisation more brazenly to divert attention. He is just seeking to defame Congress’ nyay patra’.”

He asserted that there is no mention of inheritance tax in the Congress manifesto and it is not part of the party’s agenda. “Rajiv Gandhi had abolished it in 1985. However, BJP leaders such as Arun Jaitley and Jayant Sinha advocated in favour of inheritance tax. The one who says we will bring inheritance tax is wrong and in fact, it is the BJP’s agenda,” Ramesh said.

Noting that Modi has claimed that the Congress would redistribute wealth if it comes to power, Ramesh said, “I challenge him to show us where wealth redistribution is mentioned in the manifesto. Where have we said we will take away mangalsutras?The person who did not respect mangalsutra himself is talking about it.”

Modi does not say that it is because of his intention and policies that there are 21 billionaires who have the wealth equivalent to 70 percent of the population, Ramesh said, adding that the Congress believes in inclusive economic development.

The Congress leader also asked Modi to clear his stand on the caste census issue.

Ramesh’s remarks came a day after the prime minister seized on Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s remarks on inheritance tax to step up the ruling BJP’s attack on the issue of ‘wealth redistribution’.

After Pitorda’s remarks on inheritance tax, the Congress distanced itself from the comments of the US-based president of its overseas wing and asserted that it has no plan to introduce such a tax.

Amid the BJP’s attack alleging that the Congress would redistribute wealth and introduce an inheritance tax if it comes to power, the Congress has been insisting that its manifesto does not talk about “redistribution” and that it favours a socioeconomic caste census. (PTI)