HOURS AFTER Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of Subhas Chandra Bose and inaugurated the Kartavya Path in Delhi, the Congress hit out at the government, accusing it of not inviting Opposition leaders to the event and alleging that such events are being organised only to divert attention from critical issues of governance.
“Leave aside inviting the Opposition… we don’t expect them to invite… but what has he inaugurated? It is an old road. He expanded and beautified it. It is not a new acquisition of land or an expanded road. Redoing a footpath and doing some beautification… giving it a new name and the Prime Minister himself inaugurating it… for small things like this… I can’t understand what was the need for it,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told The Indian Express.
“This road is part of the Central Vista project. Then why a separate inauguration function. If you construct a new building would you inaugurate a door, a window, a bedroom separately. Because you (Modi) want to create news every two months… so just to create news… at the cost of public exchequer… holding a big function like this. Is it some big development project? Create something new and then take credit. Renaming a road and holding a big function like this. It is not expected of the Prime Minister,” he said.
“He basically wanted to divert attention from issues like unemployment, economic mismanagement and price rise through such events. So, organise such a function and then give a long speech. Will he address a press conference and take questions from journalists on his government’s so-called achievements. If he thinks his government has done so much… address a press conference,” he said.
On unveiling of the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, he said, “Netaji was the president of the Congress. He had great admiration for Mahatma Gandhi. At the inauguration of the statue of such a great freedom fighter, all the MPs and Opposition leaders should have been invited. So this shows his mindset…I will do everything…Sab kuch karunga aur main akela karunga.”
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he was not aware of any invitation from the government as he was in Kanyakumari to attend the launch of the Congress Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“But let me tell you something. There was so much stress on the duties of the citizens in the last Presidential address. But what about the rights of the citizens? Why is he (Modi) silent on the fundamental rights of the citizens? Why talk only about duties and not rights. Does the Modi government implement in letter and spirit the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens in the Constitution. They keep talking about duties… in the near future… there is a possibility that they will say it is your duty to send a person from every family to the Army for the country. Give your land and wealth for the sake of the country….,” he said.
“They don’t talk about fundamental rights… but only about duties. Remember Hitler and Mussolini… they also used to chant the slogan of duties and then snatched away the rights of the people. So is there an impure intention behind this constant talk about duties…I think there is. They could have renamed Rajpath as Adhikarpath…why Kartavya Path,” he said.
On the Netaji statue, he said the BJP does not have national icons. “So they tried to appropriate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi…icons who had taken a stand against the RSS… spoke against the RSS. Now Netaji. This is nothing but de-Nehruisation. I just want to tell the BJP, read up what Netaji had said and written about the RSS…and tell the nation about it.”