Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed on Thursday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “sleeping at the wheel”, accusing the government of mismanaging the economy and the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.
On the economy, Gandhi told reporters that the slow growth is just the beginning of a “tsunami” and things will get much worse. “We can see what is happening to the stock market,” Gandhi said. “The economy has been destroyed by the Modi government. What we have seen is only the beginning of a tsunami, things will be worse.”
The stock markets crashed on Thursday due to the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe, with the Sensex and Nifty both finishing over 8% down. So far, India has reported 78 cases of the coronavirus, and one death.
Gandhi said that while the prime minister remains silent on the economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman does not understand it. Government data released last month showed that the Gross Domestic Product growth rate had slowed to a seven-year low of 4.7% in the October to December quarter.
The Congress leader said that while the coronavirus is seriously affecting the economy, and it is already too late, the government must take measures to minimise the damage.
Asked about Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, Gandhi said Scindia had “abandoned his ideology” because he was uncertain about his political future, NDTV reported. Gandhi claimed Scindia “put his ideology in his pocket” before joining the BJP.
“This is a fight of ideology, clear cut,” Gandhi said. “On one side is Congress and the BJP-RSS on the other. I know Jyotiraditya Scindia’s ideology, he was with me in college, I know him very well. He got worried about his political future, put his ideology in his pocket and went with the RSS.” Gandhi predicted that Scindia will neither get respect in the BJP, nor will he be emotionally satisfied.
Pradyot Manikya Debbarma, Scindia’s cousin, had said on Wednesday that Scindia had tried to talk to Gandhi many times over the past few months, but could not get an appointment. Contradicting this, Gandhi alleged that Scindia was the only Congress politician who could walk into his house at any time.