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PM looting treasury to build Modi cult: Congress leader Anand Sharma

He says PM Modi has failed to deliver on his promise of providing 20 million jobs a year

Amit Agnihotri  |  New Delhi 

Anand Sharma  Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar
Anand Sharma Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar

Former Union minister and leader on Thursday accused Prime Minister of "looting the treasury" to build a personality cult around himself. 
The sharp attack from the Opposition leader came on a day the Centre was planning to roll out a two-week mega publicity drive, dubbed MODI (Making of Developed India) fest to mark the government's three years in office. Modi and his Council of Ministers had taken the oath of office on May 26, 2014.

Slamming the government, Sharma alleged that around Rs 1,500 crore from the Centre and hundreds of crores of rupees from public-sector undertakings (PSUs) and BJP-led state governments was going to be spent on the two-week publicity drive. "You are looting the government treasury to build a personality cult around one man. The government has been promoting a personality cult for the past three years," Sharma said.

Targeting the centre's economic policies, the leader accused the government of tweaking gross domestic product (GDP) data to present a rosy picture of the economy. According to the previous methodology, the economy at present is growing at 4.6 per cent, instead of the 7 per cent plus rate that is being projected by the government. The difference, he said, could be verified by comparing GDP growth over the past decade with two set of calculations.

Citing data, Sharma said the country's investment rate, which the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had left at 34.8 per cent three years ago, had come down to 26.9 per cent now. The institutional credit had touched its lowest level in the past 63 years, he said.

Sharma pointed out that the government had saved a huge amount due to a difference in the international crude oil prices, and was sitting on as much as $100 billion worth of funds, but it had failed to pass on the benefits to the end consumer.

According to Sharma, in May 2014, the crude oil price was $106.85 a barrel and the retail price in was Rs 71 per litre. Under the Modi government, the average price of imported crude oil dropped to $43 a barrel. But the retail petrol price came own only a little to Rs 65 per litre.

Targeting the government's Pakistan policy Sharma said the border state of Jammu & Kashmir was burning with social unrest and the Centre appeared to be clueless on how to restore normalcy.

Noting that the government had failed to generate the promised 20 million per year, the leader said the need of the hour was for PM Modi to be accountable to people rather than waste public money on self-publicity.

Reminding the Centre of the role played by the in the country's freedom struggle, Sharma countered the present establishment's nationalist narrative by saying that patriotism was not the sole preserve of the saffron party. He also charged the government of targeting the Opposition parties by unleashing the central agencies to hound them.