The Congress on Thursday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, saying it was an example of “grandstanding – in other words, PM Modi’s modus operandi”.

The Opposition party questioned how the Centre would invest Rs 100 lakh crore for infrastructure development, and added that the Goods and Services Tax had not achieved its “one nation, one tax” goal.

“It is also our duty to remind the prime minister when he speaks from the Red Fort, that the poorly implemented GST resulted in a massive loss to the economy and forced closure of multiple Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises,” the party tweeted. It accused Modi of reducing international investment in the country, damaging trade ties, weakening the currency “to historic lows”, and disrupting the export industry.

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The Congress’s criticism of the prime minister’s speech came amid a severe crisis in the automobile sector and fast moving consumer goods. The government is also battling decreasing government revenues and reduced consumer demand.

The Congress also hit out at the prime minister for abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution, saying the idea of “One Nation, One Constitution” had been ripped apart by the Modi administration. “The unilateral and undemocratic manner in which Article 370 was abrogated and Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered is deplorable,” it added. “One shudders at the thought of what this ‘democratic’ govt will do next.”

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi called upon citizens to stand up against “every act of injustice, intolerance and discrimination” to cherish freedom. She said that India had progressed in all arenas but its founding principles of “truth, non–violence, compassion and unwavering patriotism” were at its core, Hindustan Times reported.

In her Independence Day address, she said that India was a democratic and resilient country that had no space for bigotry, superstition, racialism and sectarianism, but several citizens were still discriminated against on a daily basis. “I call upon every citizen to observe the solemn duty of protecting and preserving the values of freedom, brotherhood, peace and equality,” ANI quoted her as saying. “We must not forget the supreme sacrifice of our armed forces in protecting the integrity of India.”

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