Kashmir Situation is Worse Than Emergency: Congress

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Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari. — File photo

Congress spokesperson and former union minister Manish Tewari severely criticised the BJP government at the Center saying “If there are three words in the vocabulary which characterize these last 96 days – it is tyranny, chaos, and anarchy.”

Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — As the second BJP-led NDA government has completed 96 days since it assumed office, principal opposition Congress on Wednesday said its second term could be summed up in three words – “chaos, tyranny, and anarchy”. It also alleged that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been “worse” than Emergency since August 5 civil rights have “ceased” to exist.

In the wake of the arrest of party leaders, it asserted that the Congress cannot be cowed down by the government as it will continue to ask the hard questions.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, party spokesperson and former union minister Manish Tewari severely criticised the BJP government at the Center saying “If there are three words in the vocabulary which characterize these last 96 days – it is tyranny, chaos, and anarchy.”

He also expressed grave concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir since the government has unilaterally revoked Article 370 from the Constitution on August 5.

“For the last one month, there has been a complete shutdown in Jammu & Kashmir in every sense of the word. Jammu & Kashmir is in the throes of an undeclared emergency where civil rights have ceased to exist.”

He warned that the Kashmir is sitting on a volcano which can explode anytime as the government has no policy other than highhandedness.

“Jammu & Kashmir is a volcano which is waiting to explode and the NDA-BJP Government except for coercion, intimidation, detention has no other policy as to how to deal with this man-made disaster which they have created.”

In response to a question, Congress leader said in the last five years, anyone who questions the government’s policies are being dubbed as ‘anti-national’ and the Congress does not need any certificate for its patriotic credentials.

In a democracy, pointing towards mistakes of the government is the duty of every citizen and every responsible political party; he added and questioned the action of the government detaining opposition parties’ delegation at the Srinagar Airport.   

If the government has so much confidence in its actions, then why you (govt) have detained those people and political party leaders who have been the Indian-flag bearer for the last 70 years?  Why there has been complete lockdown in the valley, educational institutions, schools, communications including internet have been shut down?”

In fact, the revocation of the special status of the J&K was a very wrong decision that will have serious and far-reaching consequences, Tewari warned.

On Assam, the Congress spokesperson said despite verbal “sophistry” of the government, after the publication of the last NRC draft 19 lakh people have been rendered stateless. He said the government has no plan what it will do with these people.

“Even after going through whatever judicial processes are left, if the number was to come down by even less than 50%, does the Government of India has a plan, what are they going to do with those people, who, as per the NRC process, cease to be the citizens of India.” And to cover up this complete breakdown of governance and it is a breakdown of governance; you see the continued persecution of opposition leaders especially the leaders of the Indian National Congress, who have the conviction of courage to ask the hard questions of this Government.

He also attacked the government on the issue of economy saying the 5 per cent growth is not only the cause of concern but also the subversion of fundamentals of the Indian economy.

“The Prime Minister says that the fundamentals of the Indian economy are strong. The Home Minister reiterates that statement. Perhaps, has someone really ever questioned what it means when you refer to the fundamentals of the Indian economy? Unlike China, India is essentially a private economy and except for Government expenditure and Government investment, there is absolutely no confidence.”

He underlined that the share of agriculture in GDP has dropped to a record low of 14%, agriculture which provides employment and sustenance to 65% of India’s population. The core industries of India – the manufacturing sector is growing at 2.1% only primarily because there is no demand.

Merchandise exports and imports are down and the worst is that the so-called ‘Mudra’ scheme which government has touted as a great employment generator, but the Ministry of Labour report and which now clearly points towards the fact that the new jobs account for only 10% of total loans given, he added.

On  the arrest of Karnataka Congress  leader and former state minister  D.K. Shivkumar,  Tewari said it is the latest in the series of a continuing political “vendetta” whose only crime was that he provided a home to those Congress MLAs of Gujarat who were being poached by the ruling BJP during the Rajya Sabha elections last year.

He said the Congress is not going to be cowed down and be intimidated.

“As the premier political party of this country, we will continue to ask the hard questions, we will continue to demand answers, we will continue to agitate and we will continue to keep democracy alive in this country. We will not allow democracy to be stifled by the intimidation being perpetrated by the BJP Government,” Tewari emphasized.

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