PM Modi can only think of juvenile, misleading attacks; shows bankruptcy of ideas: Cong

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Wednesday said the "arrogance and hatred" in his speeches show that he is scared of people teaching the BJP a befitting lesson in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and alleged that his guarantee "is only to spread lies".

Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress on Wednesday, alleging that the opposition party has become outdated and has always been against any kind of reservation.

Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in the Rajya Sabha, Modi said the Congress has "outsourced" its work and expressed his sympathies over the grand old party's downfall.

Reacting to the prime minister's remarks, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said these people do not believe in the Constitution.

"They (BJP) believe that independence was achieved in 2014. They do no know that we got independence in 1947 and the Congress struggled for it. They do not want to recognise it. The prime minister said countless lies.... He is not in the habit of speaking the truth and does not have much contribution," he told reporters.

"Those who did not believe in the Constitution, who did not participate in the 'Dandi March' and the 'Quit India Movement' have the audacity to today preach patriotism to the Congress party! Modiji said countless false things about the UPA government," Kharge later said in a post on X.

"Modiji, in your speeches in both the Houses, you only cursed Congress. Despite being in power for 10 years, instead of talking about himself, he only criticises the Congress party. Even today he did not talk about price rise, unemployment and economic inequality," Kharge said.

"Actually the government does not have any data. NDA itself means 'No Data Available' government -- Census 2021 has not been conducted, there is no employment data, there is no health survey. The government hides all the statistics and spreads lies," he alleged.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary in-charge (organisation) K C Venugopal said Modi has made a "fashion" of attacking Kharge, a towering leader who has risen from the grassroots level to the position of leader of opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha and Congress president.

"Once again today, he has crossed a line. Both his speeches in Parliament are a cruel joke on the people of India. If after 10 years in power, Narendra Modi can only think of cheap, juvenile and misleading attacks on the Congress -- it shows the bankruptcy of his ideas and morals," Venugopal said.

Clearly, Rahul Gandhi's second cross-country yatra has rattled him, he added.

The Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) are rising up like never before against the "anyay" (injustice)" meted out to them by the BJP-RSS and giving their complete support to Gandhi's mission for social justice, Venugopal said.

"An entire electorate reeling under the double whammy of unemployment and price rise was looking for a clear solution from the PM, but he had nothing to offer. After these speeches, it is becoming increasingly clear that another term for Modi and BJP will mean 5 more years of hopelessness and despair for the poor and middle classes," he said.

"The arrogance and hatred in the PM's speeches show that in reality, he is scared of the Congress defeating them and the people teaching them a befitting lesson in the Lok Sabha elections," Venugopal said.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament, he said Modi's speech showed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is scared of the Congress and asked if the prime minister is aware of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) views on reservation.

"The speech showed how much he is scared of the Congress. He is only attacking the Congress. That indicates the significance of the Congress. The prime minister has to study about Jawaharlal Nehru to know who he is.... He is referring to Nehru's quotes, but who gave the reservation? Did the BJP do it? What was the RSS' view on reservation?" he asked.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla hit back at Modi for his comments on Nehru "opposing" reservation and said reservation was implemented by the government led by the country's first prime minister.

"When was the reservation given? In the Congress's time under the Jawaharlal Nehru government. After that (former prime minister) P V Narasimha Raoji implemented reservation for backward classes. But the Congress took care of all caste groups. We did not use them for votes," Shukla said.

"They are used to abusing previous governments. What was not done in the 10 years (of the Manmohan Singh government)? They are now implementing schemes made at that time, like the MGNREGA, Food Security Act and loan waiver. Even the Chandrayaan project was started under the Manmohan government," he added.

Congress leader Ranjeet Ranjan said while Modi talked about women, youngsters, the poor and farmers, the government has not done enough for them.

"The prime minister said a lot of things. He talked about women, youngsters, the poor and farmers. They promised to double the MSP, (but) it has not happened. They talk about youngsters but there is no employment. They talk about women but the CAG report says cylinders are refilled only once a year. They talk about the poor (but) does a person stop being poor by getting five kg of grains?" she asked. PTI ASK RC