BJP promises are like bamboo, long but hollow: Cong

Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters here, party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu shared details about various schemes of the BJP government. PTI File photo

The Congress on Monday alleged none of the Modi government's flagship schemes has met its target and said the Prime Minister "will sink in his own wave of lies".

Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters here, party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu shared details about various schemes of the BJP government.

"I am keeping the truth of flagship programs in front of you. The Prime Minister will sink in his own wave of lies. It is a guarantee," he said.

"All the work remains incomplete but the lies are complete. Their promises are like a bamboo -- very long but hollow from inside," he added.

Talking first about the "Rs 20,000-crore" Namami Gange scheme launched in 2015, Sidhu said that Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had claimed that 80 per cent of Ganga cleaning work will be completed by 2019.

"Out of Rs 20,000 crore earmarked for the scheme, only Rs 6,000 crore has been spent. Only 10 per cent of the sewage treatment plants has been made. The Ganga is most unclean in Varanasi," Sidhu claimed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha. He also contested the 2019 election from the constituency.

Sidhu said, "The National Ganges Council was supposed to meet once a year. The PM is its chairman and the CMs of the five states that have Ganga basin is its members. This Council has not met even once in the last five years."

The Punjab minister also talked about the much publicised Digital India scheme of the Modi government.

"Digital India was supposed to connect 2.5 lakh villages with broadband connections by February 2019. Only 1.1 lakh villages have got the optic fibre cable as yet...The internet has not worked in even two per cent of villages," he said.

"Now this work is being outsourced to companies such as Reliance and Vodafone," he alleged.

Under the 'Skill India' program, the Modi government promised skill enhancement for 40 crore people, according to Sidhu.

"Only 41 lakh people have been trained...Out of 41 lakh, only 6 lakh people have got placement," he claimed.

Sidhu also talked about the progress in the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, which was launched in 2015.

"AMRUT scheme has 500 cities under it where sewage facilities and water connectivity has to be provided. Its project utilisation is just 3 per cent. Can you imagine? In BJP-ruled states of Assam and Bihar, not a single project has been completed," the former cricketer said.

Bihar is ruled by Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal United (JDU) in alliance with the BJP.

Talking about Mudra scheme, Sidhu said that average sanctioned loan under it comes at Rs 46,000. "The person, who has an annual income of Rs 1.11 lakh, you are giving him a loan of Rs 46,000 and asking him to start a business. What a joke this is?" he asked.

"Just one per cent of the loans given under the Mudra scheme was above Rs 5 lakhs," he added.

The PMMY (Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana) was launched by the PM on April 8, 2015, for providing loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small and micro-enterprises.

About Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Sidhu said, "In phase 3, 78 per cent of the 786 MPs (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) has not adopted any village...46 per cent of the Union ministers have not identified any village. The scheme does not have any budgetary allocation."

He also talked about the Jayapur and Nagpur - two villages which have been adopted by the PM in Varanasi.

"Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, 400 toilets were made in these two villages. In 80 per cent of the toilets, cow dung and firewood are being stored...The PM installed solar street lights. It does not have motor or batteries," said Sidhu, who was earlier with the BJP.

Sindhu also alleged that out of Rs 684 crore allocated under the "Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao" scheme, 56 per cent of the money has been used in advertisements featuring the PM. "Only 25 per cent of the funds have gone to the states. 19 per cent of funds has not been issued."

About Nirbhaya fund, he said that only 15 per cent of the money has been utilised.

"Can you imagine? These are the flagship programs of the PM Modi...Liar-in-Chief is his name. Then he (PM) complains that Sidhu has called me a liar. Only the weak complain. The brave ones defeat their opponents. Should I call you Raja Harischandra?" he asked.

About Fasal Bima Yojana, Sidhu said it is "even a bigger scam than Rafale scam". "I am saying it categorically."

"Under the UPA government, 4.85 crore farmers were insured. Under the Modi government, 4.87 crores were insured. The premium taken by under the UPA regime was just Rs 10,560 crore. All of these are government companies such as LIC," he said.

"Under the Modi government, while the number of people insured is the same as UPA, the premium taken is Rs 47,408 crore...The premium has increased by five times," he added.

Sidhu further said that while under UPA regime, Rs 28,564 crore was paid as claims under the Fasal Bima Yojana, under the Modi government it is Rs 31,613 crore.

"This means the difference Rs 16,000 crore goes directly into the pockets of Reliance, Birlas and Tatas...Against a premium of Rs 47,000 crore, they just paid Rs 31,000 crore," he said. 

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