New Delhi: The BJP on Friday rejected the Congress' criticism of the Narendra Modi government on its ninth anniversary as a "bundle of lies and mountain of deception" and said the questions are born out of "pathological hatred" of the prime minister.
Former Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad rebutted the Congress' charges against the government on various issues and asserted that the Indian economy has risen from the "fragile five" position to become the fifth largest in the world.
The Congress on Friday asked PM Modi nine questions on issues such as rising prices, unemployment and farmers' income, and demanded an apology for the "betrayal" during his tenure. The Opposition party also said the government should mark this day as "Maafi Diwas".
Hitting back on the issue of national security, BJP leader Prasad said India's land was grabbed by the Chinese when the Congress was in power while the country showed its mettle in eastern Ladakh during clashes with the army of the neighbouring country.
While the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has boosted border infrastructure, the Congress deliberately kept it in poor shape, he claimed.
Prasad also attacked Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, accusing him of lowering the discourse with his choice of language in attacking Modi.
"They should rise above their hatred for Modi. The Congress was badly defeated the last two times and will suffer a similar fate in 2024," he said.
The BJP leader also described the Congress' charge of "Covid mismanagement" against the government as the "height of shamelessness" and claimed the whole world has recognised India's handling of the pandemic as the "best".
Oxygen express trains were run, health infrastructure augmented and the entire country was administered vaccines, he said, adding derisively that Congress leaders too were inoculated.
Do criticise the government but why weaken the country's resolve, Prasad asked and termed the Congress' critique a big insult to health workers and others engaged in saving the country during the pandemic.
The size of India's economy was USD 1 trillion in 2014 when the BJP government was sworn in and it is now nearly USD 3.5 trillion, he said, adding that the country's forex reserve is over Rs 50 lakh crore (Indian valuation) while export has almost doubled to Rs 36 lakh crore.
Countering the Congress' criticism of the government on the issue of price rise, the BJP leader said retail inflation is now at 4.7 per cent while whole inflation was in the negative. He also noted that inflation in the US was 8.9 per cent, in France 17.5 per cent and in Germany 23.5 per cent.
In the manufacturing sector, Prasad said that India now meets 99 per cent of its mobile phone needs while it used to import 78 per cent of its demand in 2014.
The Modi government has significantly hiked MSP prices of farm produce, he said, adding that over 11 crore farmers are now being given Rs 6,000 annually.
The country recorded its highest-ever GST total of Rs 1.87 lakh crore in April while Rs 6.68 lakh crore was transferred to beneficiaries of 312 schemes under direct benefit transfer, saving over Rs 2.7 lakh crore which used to be pocketed by middlemen earlier, he said.
With the economy growing, the infrastructure sector is witnessing a huge bump with the number of airports doubling and highways being constructed like never before. Employment has also received a boost, Prasad said.
"The questions asked by the Congress are a bundle of lies and mountain of deception. These nine questions are not arising out of any criticism which is their right but out of pathological hatred for Narendra Modi," Prasad said.
Mocking the Congress, he said it was shocking for the opposition party to ask questions on corruption as the UPA's 10 years in power between 2004-14 was marked by graft in every sector covering land, air and water.
"The opposition party is marked by four Cs of cut, commission, corruption and the Congress," Prasad said.
The Congress should know that Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, both former party presidents, are out on bail in the alleged corruption in the National Herald case, he added.