**COMBO** New Delhi: The combo photo of five images shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi in different turbans at his last five Independence Day addresses from the historic Red Fort in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)  (PTI8_15_2018_000262B)
**COMBO** New Delhi: The combo photo of five images shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi in different turbans at his last five Independence Day addresses from the historic Red Fort in New Delhi. (PTI Photo) (PTI8_15_2018_000262B)

New Delhi : The Congress on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have spoken “the truth” in the last Independence Day address of his term instead of making a “hollow” speech and urged him to accept party chief Rahul Gandhi’s challenge of a debate on issues such as corruption, mob lynching and Chinese incursions.

In his last Independence Day speech before Lok Sabha polls, Modi presented a picture of rising India under his government, contrasting it with what he termed was “policy paralysis” under the UPA.

Congress’s communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged that the prime minister in his address did not utter a single word that was “meaningful” to the common person, reports PTI.

Surjewala claimed that people were now tired of the “fake achche din” promised by the BJP and were waiting for “sachche din (days of truth) when he departs as the PM of the country.

In 2013, Modi had created a Red Fort-like replica in Chhattisgarh and from there he had challenged then prime minister Manmohan Singh to an open debate on the issues of corruption, China and Pakistan threatening the territorial integrity of India, falling rupee and failing economy, rampant unemployment as also discrimination vis-a-vis farmers and India’s women, Surjewala said.

“We ask you Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, five years after you have taken over as prime minister, are you ready for a debate on these very issues with Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

“Will you debate on the issue of corruption and Rafale and Vyapam and other corruption scams of your government for you did not utter a single word from the precincts of the Red Fort on corruption,” he told reporters at the AICC headquarters here.

Gandhi had dared the prime minister to a debate on the Rafale deal and claimed that he will not be able to answer his questions on the issue “even for a second”.

Surjewala also asked if Modi was ready to have a debate with the Congress president on issues such as the state of India’s farmers, “mob lynching that is happening under the instigation and protection of BJP leaders” and “insecurity” of  women.

“You (prime minister) did not utter a word, whether on Bihar or Unnao or any other rape incident that happened in the country,” Surjewal claimed, referring to the shelter home case of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district and the rape case in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao involving a BJP MLA.

He also urged the prime minister to debate on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and “rampant unemployment” in the country.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in