Under-attack Cong rakes up economy to shift discourse

Congress rakes up two Es of Economy and Employment to shift discourse, 'refocus' spotlight

Under-attack Cong rakes up economy to shift discourse

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of rising prices of essential commodities. PTI file photo

Facing attack from the BJP as CAA, nationalism, Pakistan and terror dominate the political discourse, Congress is attempting hard to bring back the focus on faltering economy and dwindling job scenario in the country, the issues it believes can take away the spotlight from the emotive narrative.

A day after a meeting of 20 Opposition parties to chalk out a common strategy to take on the central government on issues like CAA, students protests, Congress on Tuesday revived the attack on the government on issues like flagging economy and falling job ratio.

The Monday all-party meeting was skipped by over half a dozen Opposition parties sending a signal that a common Opposition theme of protest on the earlier two issues may not happen.

Berating Modi government over rising prices of essential commodities, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue while former Finance Minister P Chidambaram warned of the danger of anger explosion by youth and students if unemployment rises and incomes decline.

"The nation is affected by the anti-CAA, anti-NPR protests. Both present a clear and current threat. The sliding economy is a big threat to the country. If unemployment rises and there is a decline in income, there is a danger of anger youth and students exploding," he said.

The former finance minister also attacked the government over the rising consumer price index (CPI) inflation as it jumped sharply to 7.35 per cent in December 2019, surpassing the RBI's comfort level. Reviving the attack on “Achche Din” slogan of BJP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Chidambaram said, “ food inflation stands at 14.12 per cent. Vegetable prices are up 60 per cent. Onion prices are over Rs 100 per kg. This is the 'achhe din' promised by the BJP," he said.

Surjewala demanded that the Prime Minister should lay a roadmap for tackling inflation and questioned his silence over the "unprecedented" increase in prices of food items.

The attack by the Congress on the Modi government on two Es—Employment and Economy even as BJP continued with its attack on the main Opposition party accusing it “protecting Pakistan”. Party spokesperson Sambit Patra went to the extent of alleging that Rahul Gandhi was working like an “ally of Pakistan” and recalled the “saffron terror” remark of some Congress leaders to paint it “anti-Hindu”.

Congress, on the other hand, chose to train guns on remarks of Modi regarding “disappointment among youth five years ago” and the change of situation now. “PM Modi either has no basis in reality... The youth of our country have never been unhappier, the govt should stop grandstanding & start addressing the serious issues plaguing young Indians,” Congress tweeted.

Reviving attack on the “Pakoda” remark of the Prime Minister made in past in the context of employment generation, Congress talked of rising prices of onion garlic and potato.

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