Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked the Narendra Modi government’s flagship “Make in India” programme, saying imports from China have increased since 2014.
His comments came a day after the government banned 59 mobile applications, mostly popular Chinese apps like TikTok, WeChat, Cam Scanner, citing threat to national security and sovereignty. The ban comes amid continuing tensions on the border between India and China. The order covers a variety of applications from e-commerce to gaming, social media, browsers, instant messaging and file sharing to target China in the online space.
“Facts don’t lie,” Gandhi tweeted. “BJP says: Make in India. BJP does: Buy from China.”
He also attached a graph showing that from 2008-’14, the imports from China were below 14%, while after the BJP came to power, the imports rose to over 18%.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly made “vocal for local” pitch, urging citizens to buy only products made in the country. He said this would contribute to a self-reliant India.
Calls to ban Chinese products have increased since the June 15 clashes, which claimed the lives of at least 20 Indian personnel in the worst violence on the border since 1975. On Monday, the Centre had also allowed the export of 50 lakh Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, medical coveralls. Union minister Piyush Goyal had said that the relaxation in export policy for coveralls will provide an impetus to ‘Make in India exports”
Visuals of people burning China-made electronics and other goods have been widely shared on social media.