Party wants to expose the bundle of ‘lies’ Modi rolled out to mesmerise voters

New Delhi : The Congress is determined to be a spoilsport in tarnishing PM Narendra Modi’s image before he goes to the Red Fort to address the nation on Independence Day.

All his lies about Gujarat’s shining progress are tumbling out and the Congress wants to expose the bundle of falsehoods he rolled out to mesmerise and win the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress leaders said.

They said the party will not only keep raising the issue of bugging own ministers in Parliament citing his alleged habit of snooping and phone-tapping also as the Gujarat chief minister, but it will also corner him in Parliament on the basis of the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) reports castigating the Gujarat government during his chief ministership for financial mismanagement of resources and benefiting select corporate houses in the state.

Accusing Modi of putting in the media a report on the then Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal making 63 trips by the State government aircraft, 53 of them to her hometown Jaipur to divert attention from the CAG reports that blackens all his claims of ‘good governance’, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhavi on Thursday said he cannot escape responsibility for the wrongs just because he has now become the prime minister.

He said that the party would bring his misdeeds as reflected in the CAG reports before Parliament as he owes an explanation for frittering away the tax-payer’s money so callously all these years as the chief minister.

Asked how the party can raise in Parliament the CAG reports that were actually tabled in the Gujarat Assembly, Singhavi snapped back, “Leave it for us as to under what provisions to raise the matter.” He went on to point out that “it is not a state matter but an issue concerning Rashtra, a national issue, and moreover the CAG is a national constitutional body.”

He also circulated a 6-page note given to all party MPs, titled “A fact-sheet on CAG report on Gujarat,” to start raising it in both the Houses of Parliament whole of the next week, and if possible, also on Friday. The document lists how the CAG has debunked the Gujarat government”s claim of Rs 5570-crore revenue surplus during 2012-13 as “overstated” and blasted it for the debt burden of the state shooting up astronomically to Rs 1.66 lakh crore in 2012-13. Three or four generations will have to repay this fiscal liability, Singhavi said.

The auditing watchdog points out that Gujarat government was already under the debt burden of around Rs 50,000 crore during the BJP-ruled regime of Modi’s predecessor Keshubhai Patel that shot up astronomically after the Modi government took charge. “It rose to Rs 1.05 lakh crore in 2008-09 and is Rs 1.66 lakh crore in 2012-13,” says the CAG report.

The apex auditor has also slammed the Gujarat Government for investing Rs 47,171 crore in the statutory corporations and government companies, whose average rate of return in the last five years has been a mere 0.24 per cent. “Still the state is borrowing and pumping money into them.”

It may be noted that the CAG reports were tabled in the Gujarat Assembly on the last day of the budget session and all the Opposition Congress MLAs were suspended for their protest at the last-day tabling of the reports as also on account of the government’s failure to prevent sky-rocketing prices of vegetables and food items.

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