Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked the Narendra Modi government over the government decision to freeze hiring in ministries. The Congress leader said the government believes in only maximum privatisation to benefit industrialists close to the regime. Gandhi said the Central government follows the principle of minimum government and has used the Covid-19 outbreak as an excuse to hide from its disastrous handling of the economy. With unemployment increasing to a record level in 45 years, he said the future of the country’s youth, the poor and small traders have all been dashed due to the mismanagement.
Gandhi has been repeatedly showing the mirror to the Modi government on its failures in effectively handling the Indian economy, especially after the nationwide lockdown imposed in March. With the enforcement of lockdown measures, industrial output took a hit resulting in the tanking of the GDP growth rate to -23.9 percent in quarter one of 2020-21. The contraction is said to be the steepest among the world’s G-20 countries and the worst in some 40 years.
Earlier on Thursday, Gandhi had blamed the 2016 demonetisation for the persistent slump in the Indian economy. He had said the demonetisation turned out to be a fatal assault on the poor, farmers, small traders and the unorganised sector.
Though Gandhi had warned as early as February 12 about the threat posed by the Covid-19 outbreak to citizens and to the economy, the government took more than a month to accord the importance the Covid outbreak deserved necessitating in the national lockdown. Gandhi had also interacted with some of the lakhs of migrant workers who were walking home as businesses and establishments shut down during the lockdown.
Gandhi’s being on the front foot against the government, however, hides the disarray within the Congress. A group of 23 leaders had written to party interim president Sonia Gandhi demanding elections be held for the Congress Working Committee and to the party chief’s post. Though these leaders submitted to the Gandhi family leadership in the meeting, the murmurs are getting louder with several senior leaders giving provocative interviews pointing to the winter that lies ahead if their demands aren’t met.