New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at the Modi government, saying there is a brazen campaign to straitjacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world view.
Chairing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, Gandhi also asserted that the Congress must be ready to protect the essence and idea of India “which this government is seeking to extinguish".
The meeting, which was attended by party vice president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, discussed the current political situation and the upcoming presidential election.
Top Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwiwedi and other CWC members were also present at the meeting.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the country’s growth has slowed down mainly because of demonetisation and the economy is running on just one engine of public spending. He expressed serious concern over the situation, particularly the impact on job creation.
Singh, in his intervention at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet, talked about the decline in the economic growth as depicted in the last quarter GDP numbers.
He said the slow down was primarily due to demonetisation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November last year.
He said the Gross Value Addition (GVA) is the true sub-measure of economic activity and it has experienced a steep and sustained fall.
“Private sector investment has collapsed and the economy is running on just one engine of public spending," he said at the meeting, chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Singh said the GVA growth of industry has fallen from 10.7% in March 2016 to just 3.8% in March 2017, a decline of nearly seven percentage points of growth.
“The most worrisome aspect of all this is the impact on job creation. Jobs have been extremely hard to come by for the youth of the nation," he said.
The former Prime Minister noted that the construction industry, which is one of the largest employment generators in the country, has suffered contraction. This, he said, “implies loss of millions of jobs for the nation’s workforce".