New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the Narendra Modi government has a different meaning of the word “development” in the country, as for them it means “development of a few businessmen”.
“The word (development) is being repeated. They have changed meaning of the term. For them, it means development of a few businessmen,” Gandhi said while addressing the birth anniversary function of the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here.
“Achchhe din (good times) were when Jawaharlal Nehru was prime minister as everyone was then able to say his ‘mann ki baat’ (speaking one’s heart out) as it was not limited to a radio programme,” she said taking a dig at Modi’s monthly radio address.
The Congress chief said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could tell the country what to eat and what not to eat but it could not tell people how to manage to eat daal (pulses), with their prices having gone beyond the common man’s reach.
Stating that Nehru as the first prime minister of the country visualised and established various institutions to take the country forward, she said, “but they are being destroyed by the present regime”.
Sonia Gandhi also termed the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) as the “remote control” of the Narendra Modi government. The term used to be applied to her when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister.
Speaking on the occasion, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, A.K. Antony and Anand Sharma also criticised the Modi government.
Congress leader and party spokesperson Anand Sharma said “Modi, the BJP and the RSS were working against the values the nation was founded at”.
“During the recent India-Africa summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not mention the name of Jawaharlal Nehru even once,” he said, adding it was African leaders who talked about him reminding Modi about Nehru’s role in India’s foreign policies.
Kharge, the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said Modi had to explain in London that there was no intolerance in the country.
“He had to explain about it. It means it’s there,” he said, adding that people have realised what his government and its allies were up to.
“In Delhi (elections) they put a comma and in Bihar a full stop,” he said.
Azad, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and former defence minister Antony also criticised the central government’s alleged policy of intolerance, saying to take forward a country like India, where people of all faiths live, one must create trust among the masses.