Mumbai, Oct 3: Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that public sentiment has gone against the centre due to “all-round failures” such as rising unemployment, demonetisation and the GST.
“Unemployment is at peak all over the country, agriculture sector is distressed and farmers are committing suicide , there is high inflation, the financial sector has failed and the poor sections are very upset. The public mood is against the government and we must prepare for elections,” Pawar told media.
Referring to shutting down of textiles companies rendering 17,600 people jobless, Larsen & Toubro, Infosys , suzlon and other big firms terminating their employess, Pawar said ” the coming days are going to be difficult for the country”.
Besides, there are no fresh investments coming to the country. Slogans like ‘Make In India’ sounded very attractive initially, but have now proved to be hollow, Pawar pointed out.
He blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the contemporar situation saying economic decisions like demonetization and GST taken by him without adequate preparations have taken a heavy toll on the economy.
Hitting out Modi’s Bullet Train project, the NCP chief said instead of reducing the sufferings of the Mumbai commuters, the (Bullet Train) project is being brought here “which will help Japan come out of the economic recession it is facing”.
Though it is the fastest train in Japan it does not have a market there and the project will help reduce that country’s ongoing economic crisis, he said.
He also showed a video clip of Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister, in which he had said that the Bullet Train would be a showpiece project and nobody would travel by it.
“There are only four stations of Bullet Train in Maharashtra and a 35-minute long journey. Then why should the state provide half the funds for the project?” Pawar demanded, adding it should have been implemented on other sectors instead of Mumbai-Ahmedabad.
On last week’s Mumbai stampede in which 23 commuters lost their lives. Pawar cited the example of the then Railway Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who resigned after a railway disaster, “but that is unlikely to happen now.”
Giving a call to the party to prepare for elections, Pawar predicted that wherever the BJP is in power, it will hold simultaneous state assembly and Lok Sabha elections, and “the NCP must prepare accordingly”.
The people vent their frustrations through social media and the government is “retaliating” by sending them (police) notices – “What you sowed through social media, now you are reaping”, said Pawar.
“In a democracy, every citizen has a right to express himself. The government should not try to threaten the people by sending them notices and attempt to curb individual liberties,” he added.