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India suffering due to vanity, incompetence of PM: Rahul

India suffering due to vanity, incompetence of PM: Rahul

New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the country has suffered tremendous damage due to his "vanity and incompetence".

The Congress leader also described Modi as "a prisoner of his own image" and accused him of practising TRP politics.

"The Prime Minister often asks what the Congress did in the last 60 years? The people of India know exactly what the Congress achieved for this country. But I would like to tell the Prime Minister what the Congress didn't do in 67 years," Rahul said while addressing a Congress Parliamentary Party meeting here.

Generally, Congress President Sonia Gandhi addresses the CPP meeting, but she was not present due to health concerns.

Training his guns at Modi, Rahul said: "The Congress never gave India a Prime Minister who was a prisoner of his own image. We never gave India a Prime Minister who was ready to inflict such tremendous suffering on the people of India to protect his own persona."

Continuing his tirade, the Congress leader said: "We never gave India a Prime Minister who based his entire policy-making strategy on TRPs (television rating points). We never gave India a Prime Minister who bypassed the experience of those sitting in various institutions.

"The country has suffered tremendous damage as a result of the vanity and incompetence of our Prime Minister."

Rahul accused Modi of not hearing the voices of the opposition. "The Congress and the entire opposition are disturbed that the Prime minister does not feel it is worth his time to sit in the house and listen to the views of its democratically elected members. Doing so could potentially prevent him from making the catastrophic policy mistakes he is currently making."

"Listening to the voices of the people of this country is the only thing that can free him from the clutches of his own image and make him an effective Prime Minister. Yet he consistently refuses to do so," he said.

Rahul said Modi's decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes had attacked the very foundations of our economy rather than black money.

"As per the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy, the Prime Minister's impromptu experiment has already cost India 1.28 lakh crore in lost wages, cost of printing and logistics," he said.

Rahul claimed the results of this "catastrophic experiment" will soon be revealed to the world.

"Every economist of any repute has already condemned it and questioned its capacity to realise the intended goals. Modi ji has created a massive new corrupt black market that is working overtime to convert the black money into white," he said.

"It is clear that our gross domestic product growth will be devastated. India's poor have been landed a body blow. Millions of migrant labourers and farmers have been crushed. Entire industries have been destroyed. The poor stand in line while the corrupt are been given a free bypass through the new income tax law," he added.

Criticising the government's policy towards Pakistan, the Congress leader accused Modi of sitting silently while Kashmir was burning.

"Modi will be judged by history as the man who gifted massive political space to anti- India forces by creating an opportunistic political alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the People's Democratic Party. He has created the political vacuum that gives the terrorists space to operate," he said.

"By the time the Congress left power in 2014 (at the Centre), 50 planeloads of tourists were landing at the Srinagar airport every day," he added.

He said his party stands with the soldiers and victims of terrorism.

"I would like to honour the soldiers, officers and civilians who have lost their lives to terrorists over this year... We gave the government our full support during the surgical strikes.

"We will always support any action that helps India defeat terrorism. But policy cannot be based on ad hoc responses to events. The price of not thinking actions through is simply too high," he said.

Gandhi also slammed the government for passing important legislation through voice vote.

"It is a reflection of the BJP's mindset that they choose to pass the amendments to the income tax law amid the Lok Sabha din without allowing a discussion. It is an insult to the institution," he said.

Both houses have been subjected to repeated disruptions since the winter session of Parliament started on November 16.

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