BJP Reaped Benefits of Communal Polarisation: Cong in LS

New Delhi
BJP Reaped Benefits of Communal Polarisation: Cong in LS

Accusing ruling BJP of having "reaped benefits" of communal polarisation in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress today said the government should now focus on good governance and deliver on promises.

Resuming the debate in Rajya Sabha on Motion of Thanks on President's Address, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said there was a "deliberate" communal polarisation on the ground by the "party which is in power" and it did not win the elections just on the plank of development.

He hoped that after BJP "reaped benefits" of communal polarisation, the government will now "focus on good governance".

The former minister said he was disappointed that the President's address did not talk about the works being done by the previous UPA government in the past 10 years.

Ramesh claimed there were "momentous changes" during the 10-year UPA regime and 140 million people had "escaped trap of poverty".

"We (Congress) became victim of our own success," Ramesh said, adding a large number of programmes mentioned in the President address was continuation of UPA policies.

Ramesh wanted to know meaning of slogans like 'minimum government, maximum governance' and 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat (united India, best India)' and said he hoped 'minimum government' does not mean one-man government, one-office government.

Referring to Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said the bill could not be taken up by the previous government due to opposition of certain people who are now in government.

He, however, assured Congress party's support to the government is passing the GST Bill.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Trinamool Cong) said any attempt by the government to digress from pro-people policies would be opposed tooth and nail.

He, however, assured full cooperation to the Modi government, but warned it "to be cautious in its quest to succeed".

He said it is the duty of the new government to revisit and relook at the major economic reforms keeping in mind the poor, as according to latest World Bank report one-third of the world's 1.2 billion 'poorest of the poor' which translated to 40 crore people in India.

At the same time, he stressed equal sharing of resources between the Centre and states saying "Finance Commission is the only constitutional authority to look into it" but over the years "the Planning Commission, set up by an executive order, has become the most robust extra-constitutional authority".

Justifying Goods and Services Tax (GST), he demanded an assurance from new government that compensation of tax arrears will be paid to states before its implementation.

He also demanded expediting implementation of Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor saying it will benefit seven states - West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Welcoming steps to bring back black money, Roy asked as to what the government was doing to inquiries by Income-Tax in connection with 498 Indian entities operating from tax havens like British Virgin islands.

He cautioned the new government that it should ensure that its Ganga Plan was carried out meticulously unlike the past when the funds were siphoned off by the contractors and also wanted to know the fate of institutions like DRDO.

Chandan Mitra (BJP) said it was wrong to say that this government has copied its ideas from the UPA government and added that Modi government is determined to translate the dreams of common Indians into reality. 

Mitra said "it is not just an election of hope, it is also a government of hope" with a promise of transformation on the basis of experience and achievement.

Acknowledging the role of every government in contributing something for the country, he said every Indian wants to see an India free from poverty and all social evils which his government will endeavour to fulfil.

"If neeyat (intent) is there, neeti (policy) can become a reality...Sapna (dream) can become a reality", he said exuding confidence that "hum honge kanyaab (we will succeed).

Ashwani Kumar (Cong) attacked BJP for "mocking" Congress by saying it has become a regional party by getting only 44 seats in Lok Sabha and reminded it that the ruling party has got only 31 per cent votes and that 69 per cent people had not expressed confidence in them.

"If you want to start on a clean slate have the generosity to accept cooperation from all," he said, adding, "You do not represent the majority view of the country."

Kumar, a former Law Minister, demanded a law to protect the privacy of citizens and attacked BJP over the snooping incident as well as controversial remarks on Article 370 made by Minister of State in PMO.

"Restrain yourself from making statements which can have serious ramifications for the unity of the country," he said, adding that the idea of India is about "contrast of ideas".

"Whether it is the snooping incident or the role of investigative agencies, they are a constant wound on the soul of Indian Republic," he said.

The Congress leader said "magnanimity" in victory was expected of BJP as also "humility", but lamented that "none of them was there" in the ruling party.

He lamented that the President's speech had no mention of the country's foreign policy and said the new government must not forget China is our competitor and "we need to be on our guard".

Kumar said it was the UPA government during which the process to ensure return of Kashmiri Pandits was initiated and 25,000 houses were built in Jammu and construction was also started in the Valley for the purpose.

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