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“Congress is facing an identity crisis”

Panelists observe that BJP is capitlaising on a weak Opposition

Nobel Prize-winning economist Abhijit Banerjee has said that the Opposition hasn’t created strong pressure on the government. He said Opposition must present people’s views. He also mentioned that there is a huge reduction in poverty in India in the last 30 years. But why is the Opposition in a disarray? APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Parivesh Vatsayan posed the questions to the panellists including the BJP’s Vijay Khera and noted scribe Ajay Sharma.

Ajay Sharma said: “Banerjee has been close to the Congress. He is now raising questions on the Congress. Amartya Sen and Abhijit Banerjee, renowned economists, have raised political issues from time to time. Banerjee is saying the Opposition is weak. But all these leaders are also looking at their vote-banks.”

Khera said: “Banerjee has been Left leaning. That’s why he’s now pained; he feels that the Congress, the Opposition, is weak. Gandhiji had said that a handful of people can bring about a revolution. Even Nehru and Gandhi wanted CAA. And now the Congress is making all sorts of negative statements just for the sake of opposing.”

Alok Sharma said: “The BJP is playing smart politics. And the Congress finds itself out of muddas (issues) and has lost focus. My thinking is that the Opposition is not really weak, because the protests going on right now are all being spearheaded by the Congress. The issue is more about an identity crisis.”

Khera said: “See, whether it’s the Art 370 or the Mandir issue, all these concern people. This is a victory of the junta. We are in a hurry to set right the development agenda. And this has stumped the Congress. So, the Opposition has no viable issue to fight for right now.”

Alok Sharma said: “Banerjee has said that poverty has gone down. His statement shows that there is a leadership crisis in the Congress. Look at Maharashtra or Jharkhand where the Congress is playing second fiddle to regional parties. As an organisation, it is now a weak party.”

Khera said: “It gives us no joy that the Congress is weak or facing an identity crisis. Modi government has been devising pro-poor policies.”

To this Vatsayan wanted to know why the manufacturing sector is down?

Khera replied: “Then would you prefer that black makeeters are back? There are various reasons why the auto sector is down. All this is the result of past, lopsided policies. See, economists do not have a large vision. It is one thing to win a Nobel, and quite another to run the government.”

Alok Sharma said: “The country’s economic situation is for all to see. Public transport is the responsibility of the government; the government can’t get away with the slowdown by stating that they have the larger picture in mind. The government is chosen to sort out such things. Khera is talking in an illogical way.”

Khera said: “The Congress government took hold of all sectors and failed. Now we are trying our best to sort out the mess.”

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