New Delhi, January 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t speak about rising unemployment in the country and is responsible for the destroying India’s image abroad, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday.
Keeping his focus on the state of the country’s economy under the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, Rahul Gandhi said the Prime Minister “probably hasn’t studied or understood economics”.
He pointed out that economic growth has dropped since the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power.
“India grew at 9% during the UPA. The entire world was looking towards us. Today, you have different parameters to measure GDP and you have a 5% rate. If you use old parameters, then India is growing at 2.5%,” he said.
“Ask an eight-year-old whether demonetisation benefited you or harmed you? The child will say the note ban did more harm than good,” he said.
Gandhi made the comments while addressing a “Yuva Aakrosh Rally (youth anger)” in Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur. The address is a part of his proposed plan to hold similar rallies across the country in a bid to reconnect with the masses and corner the Centre on the nationwide protests over the new citizenship law and economic slowdown.
The current government at the Centre has ignored the country’s biggest asset, the youth, the 49-year-old leader said.
“Prime Minister Modi had promised two crore jobs but last year our youth lost one crore jobs. Wherever the PM goes he talks of CAA and NRC but doesn’t mention the biggest issue of unemployment. The PM doesn’t even speak a word on it,” Gandhi said.
“Earlier, we were competing with China but now sadly China has left us far behind. The whole world knows if there is anyone who can rival China, it is India’s youth,” he said.
The senior Congress leader also accused PM Modi of tarnishing India’s image as a country of peace.
“The reputation and image that India had in the world were that it is a country of brotherhood, love and unity, while Pakistan was known for hatred and divisiveness. This image of India has been damaged by Narendra Modi. Today, India is considered as the rape capital of the world,” he said.
“When our youth question the PM on our reputation being adversely affected, on joblessness, they target you, they shoot at you. I challenge the PM to visit any Indian university and face students’ questions before he speaks. He can’t but he can make false promises.”
After Jaipur’s Yuva Aakrosh rally, Gandhi will lead an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally at Kalpetta in his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad in Kerala on January 30, the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi.
He would highlight the NDA government’s “failures” on the economic front, rising unemployment and agrarian distress apart from talking about the CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the two issues that have triggered nationwide protests.