The Congress on Saturday decided to take on the Narendra Modi government on the issue of corruption by launching a public campaign that will highlight the bank scams, Rafale deal and the “bad” state of the economy.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee chaired by party chief Rahul Gandhi where the leaders also chalked out a strategy on the crucial issue of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The meeting of the working committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, was attended by top party leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Aza, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Ashok Gehlot.
However, former party president Sonia Gandhi was unable to attend the meeting. This is the second meeting of the newly constituted CWC under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
The opposition party decided to go all out in highlighting the issue of corruption both inside and outside Parliament. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said after the meeting that the party will launch a public campaign or ‘Jan Andolan, details of which will be chalked out in the coming days in consultation with state units and leaders.
“The CWC met today. As a team, we discussed the political situation in the country and the huge opportunity for the Congress to highlight issues of corruption and failure of the government to provide jobs to our youth. Thank you to all those who attended today’s meeting,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
The party intends to corner the government on media reports which quoted Antiguan authorities as saying that Indian agencies had no adverse information against Mehul Choksi when the Caribbean country conducted a background check on the PNB scam accused before granting him citizenship in 2017.
The Congress has alleged that it had “exposed the complicity and connivance” of the Modi government in the escape of the fugitive billionaire.
On the Rafale deal, Surjewala said neither the Prime Minister nor the Defence Minister are disclosing the price of the jets purchased by this government and claimed that the price fixed during UPA was Rs 526 crore against Rs 1,676 crore for the jets purchased under NDA, that has caused a loss of Rs 48,000 crore to the exchequer.
Taking a cautious stand on the National Register of Citizens exercise in Assam, Surjewala said after the meeting that the NRC was “Congress’ baby” and was initiated as a consequence of the Assam accord signed by late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 and the party will ensure that no Indian citizen is left out of it.
“The NRC is a baby of the Congress party and it will ensure that no Indian citizens is deprived of his legitimate right,” he said.
Surjewala also pointed out figures claiming that while the Congress-led UPA government from 2005 to 2013 had deported 82,728 foreigners (Bangladeshis), the NDA government has only deported only 1,822 foreign nationals in the last four years. He was citing figures shared by the Modi government in Parliament.