The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s trade union president Saji Narayanan on Saturday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government’s economic and labour policies. “On the economic and labour front, the BJP government is nothing more than UPA-III!”, Narayanan wrote in an article for Outlook India.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh president said that the Indian economy was going in “a wrong direction” because the “identification of issues, priorities, methodology adopted to analyse them and the remedies prescribed are highly defective and based on a failed western capitalist model”. He claimed that every new reform the government undertook benefited the rich and “burdened” the poor.

Narayanan criticised the government’s Niti Aayog, which replaced the Planning Commission of India. He said that many bureaucrats and advisors who were part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had been retained by the National Democratic Alliance dispensation.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh chief said that liberalisation had led to jobless economic growth since 1991. “Till today, job losses exceeding job creation is a constant worry in spite of earnest efforts of the government to create jobs and encourage skill development,” he added.

Narayanan claimed that the “craze” for Foreign Direct Investment was destroying India’s medium and small scale industries and small traders. “E-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong, Myntra, Shopclues etc. have started destructive invasion over our local traders,” he claimed. “The Ola and Uber phenomenon is similar, even though one of these is an Indian company.”

Narayanan said that the service sector must remain ancillary to the agricultural and industrial sectors in the long run.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh president said there were five problems plaguing the Indian economy. The first, he said, is that nearly half of India’s population is near or below the poverty line. He identified the second as the agrarian crisis in the country. Narayanan said that India’s manufacturing growth was the slowest since Independence, and that the country had the highest trade deficit since 1950. He said unemployment was the fifth problem, which remained unresolved despite government efforts towards job growth.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh will hold a rally and march to Parliament on November 17 to protest the government’s economic policies, Narayanan said. “Hardly one-and-a-half years are left before the government faces the people in the elections.”

Narayanan’s statements follow BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s attacks on the government for allegedly mismanaging India’s economy.