New York: A year into the NDA government, the economy is not faring any better and farmers are in distress as the BJP regime mostly thrives on “empty rhetoric and symbolism”, a senior Congress leader here has alleged. On the economic front, Congress has always followed a policy of equity, justice and inclusive development, Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, who was here to attend a meeting of the International Council of the Socialist International, an umbrella organisation of 152 political parties across the world, said yesterday.
Sharma said the party had brought 140 million people out of poverty during the UPA I and UPA II terms and despite the economic crisis in the world, the average growth rate during its regime was 7.6 to 7.9 per cent, according to a statement issued by the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC), USA.
“The Indian economy is not faring any better and farmers are in distress as the BJP Government mostly thrives on empty rhetoric and symbolism,” Sharma said in a statement, adding that the BJP government has not been able to sustain the increase in exports that the UPA government had achieved.
The Congress-led government assured legal right to food, security, education and rural employment through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employee Guarantee Scheme, he said.
“It was a government of pro-poor that educated children, feeding 160 million children through mid-day meals program by reducing school dropouts. Despite all these accomplishments, we have lost the propaganda war,” Sharma said.
“In India today, the communal forces are busy attacking and changing the Educational System, they have infected and infiltrated in all the research organisations including historical ones, they have said so that they would rewrite history because they have no contribution to history,” the statement quoted Sharma as saying.
The communal forces are targeting India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru because Nehru symbolises what today’s India is, Sharma said. “If we are a democracy the credit goes to Nehru and Gandhi… Nehru was rightly the builder of the modern India and one of the most respected leaders of the world,” he said.
Sharma called on the diaspora in the US to recognise that the right wing is a “common enemy”. “It is an ideological battle and India will not remain what it is as a great country if we have these forces of right wing communalism get stronger,” Sharma said.
Conceding that Congress may have lost the propaganda war during the last election, he said that the party will work to attract young people to its fold and create a counter narrative to BJP’s massive propaganda effort.