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UP govt failed to address growing stray cattle menace: Cong

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New Dehi, May 16 (PTI) The Congress on Thursday claimed the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has failed to address the growing stray cattle menace and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spell out his vision to solve the problem "instead of diverting public discourse".

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Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed questions to Prime Minister Modi as he holds a series of rallies in Uttar Pradesh, including in Bhadohi.

"Why is the Modi Sarkar destroying the Bhadohi carpet industry? Why has the UP Government left farmers to deal with stray cattle themselves? Why are UP's youth unemployed?" Ramesh said.

Elaborating on what he said were "jumla details", Ramesh said that like most MSMEs, Bhadohi's carpet industry has also suffered under the Modi government.

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"First, the industry was hit by the complex tax structure and high rates of GST. According to a trade body, 18% GST has been levied on handmade manufacturers and other floor coverings, and 12% has been levied on the sale and purchase of handmade goods," Ramesh said.

Previously, carpet exporters received a 9.2% import drawback which has now been reduced to just 3%, he said and added that even the 7.5% subsidy that the government used to provide has been suddenly removed.

"The families of 20 lakh workers are suffering because of the Modi Sarkar's ill-conceived trade and tax policies. Why has the BJP destroyed Bhadohi's carpet industry?" Ramesh said.

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The Congress has promised to rationalize and simplify the GST regime to protect India's small manufacturers in the Congress Nyay Patra, Ramesh said.

What is the BJP's vision to support Bhadohi's carpet manufacturers, he asked.

Ramesh further said that despite repeated promises of action, the UP government has failed to address the growing stray cattle menace.

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"The lack of adequate animal shelters has led cattle-rearers to avoid care for them by simply releasing their animals. These cattle have now become a nightmare for farmers - routinely destroying crops, and given their affinity for higher-value crops, even blocking efforts at crop diversification," he said.

"Farmers now have to keep vigil around the clock, and some have even died from bull attacks. Instead of diverting public discourse, can the Prime Minister address the issues that are actually concerning the local people: what is his vision to solve this problem?" Ramesh said.

He said last year, Chief Minister Yogi promised that he would create 2 crore new jobs in the state over the next 3-4 years.

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"Remember this is the same promise that the Prime Minister had once made in 2014 before he came to office. We know what followed - years of record unemployment and slow growth," the Congress general secretary said.

The Congress' Yuva Nyay guarantees include the recruitment of 30 lakh government jobs and a guaranteed one year apprenticeship to all graduates and diploma holders, he said.

"What have the Prime Minister and his acolytes done over the last decade to create these promised 2 crore jobs? Why are the PM's acolytes now making the same promises that the PM failed to deliver on? What is the BJP's vision to resolve Uttar Pradesh and India's record unemployment crisis?" Ramesh said.

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Earlier, he renewed its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP giving a Lok Sabha ticket to the son of incumbent MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is facing charges of sexually harassing women wrestlers, and asked whether women ever be safe in "Modi's India".

Ramesh posed questions to the prime minister ahead of his rallies in Uttar Pradesh.

"Will the Jaunpur medical college ever be completed? Why has the Gomti river been re-branded and not re-vived? Will women ever be safe in Modi's India?" Ramesh said.

Elaborating on what he said were "jumla details", Ramesh said the foundation stone of the Jaunpur medical college was laid by Akhilesh Yadav in 2015 but nine years later, it is still not complete.

It was meant to be completed in 2017 but when the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh, they chose not to prioritise this project, he alleged.

"Despite this, the half-functional college was 'inaugurated' by the outgoing PM and CM Yogi in October 2021. At the end of 2023, only 63% of the college's civil work had been completed and only the OPD was functional," he claimed.

"Why has the "Double-Engine" government broken down for this essential project? Will the Jaunpur medical college ever be fully functional?" Ramesh said.

He further said that despite the PM's claims of conserving the Gomti river under the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the river is suffering today.

On the BJP giving a ticket to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's son, Ramesh alleged that the PM Modi has "once again failed India's daughters".

"Rather than punishing MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for his heinous crimes, the BJP has rewarded him with a ticket for his son Karan Bhushan Singh, from the neighbouring Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat," he said.

This has come as a slap in the face to all the women who put their careers at stake and slept on the streets for days, through sun and rain, in their fight for justice, he said.

"It has become clear that in 'Modi ka Parivar', Nari Shakti is just a slogan that is projected while the Parivar shelters perpetrators of sexual violence, be it Prajwal Revanna or Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Will women ever be safe in Modi's India? Will the PM's hunger for power always be more important than the safety of India's daughters?" Ramesh said and asked the prime minister to break his "silence" on these issues. PTI ASK ZMN

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