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PM’s ‘Kaala Teeka’ Jibe At Congress’ Black Paper

| Updated: February 8, 2024 17:50

The Congress on Thursday released a “black paper” on the Narendra Modi government’s tenure, titled ‘10 Saal Anyay Kaal 2014-2024 (10 years of injustice)’.

The black paper says the country’s economy has been “devastated”, unemployment “aggravated” and agriculture sector “destroyed” during the Modi regime, and that it has “abetted” crimes against women and “committed grave injustices” against minorities.

The black paper came hours ahead of the NDA government’s tabling of a white paper in Parliament on the “mismanagement” of the economy in the UPA era.

In a jibe over the Congress’s move, Modi thanked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge for coming out with the “black paper” against his government and referred to it as “kaala teeka” (to ward off the evil eye) in the midst of the good work being done by his government.

The Congress booklet showcases “the economic, social and political injustice” under the Modi government over the past ten years and also the spread of social disharmony and the compromise of national security. The themes of the booklet are similar to Rahul Gandhi’s ongoing Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

The booklet’s release came a day after Modi slammed the Congress in Parliament on these various issues, accusing it of now dividing the country on the basis of North-South and shortchanging the OBC, SC and ST communities.

Releasing the booklet, Kharge took on the PM on several fronts, including his assertion that it was the NDA government that had made persons from SC/ST communities President. “That is not important. Yeh toh bante rahte hain (they keep becoming)… We also made a person from the SC community the President (KR Narayanan).”

Going on to compare Naryanan and Murmu, Kharge said: “I am not criticising her (President Droupadi Murmu)… I value her worth. Lekin achche, padhe likhe logon ko, achche internationally famous (But good, well-educated and internationally famous people)… (Naryanan) was a journalist, an ambassador… then became Vice-President and President…”

Kharge also accused the government of favouring corporates, giving them thousands of crores in loans and not creating job opportunities for the youth. “Your language is good but the economic situation does not improve because of that. Nor will prices come down or employment opportunities increase,” he said.

The Congress president alleged that the BJP raised funds through electoral bonds by harassing people through agencies. “They are raising funds by applying pressure and indirect harassment. This money is used to destroy democracy. The BJP has made 411 MLAs switch sides and toppled governments over the past 10 years,” Kharge said and added that those who speak against them are threatened.

Kharge elaborated and claimed he received a few calls on Tuesday where he was abused following his criticism of Modi’s speech. “Aisi gandi gaaliyan (such bad abuses were hurled). I have lodged a police complaint. This is not the first time that it has happened. In Bengaluru too, I had filed a complaint. Why are you resorting to such things? You must debate and convince people on the basis of your arguments,” he said.

Saying that neither he nor the Congress would be weakened by such intimidating tactics, Kharge said he had seen enough hardships in life. “I have not lost an election, barring one, in 53 years of my political life. To indirectly abuse me, defame me through social media is their style. If they want to defame an SC, who does not have any taint on him, we will see. We do not need sympathy and want to only highlight their shortcomings,” he said.

Terming Modi’s attacks on Rahul Gandhi in the Rajya Sabha as “lowering the standard (of a PM)”, Kharge said a Prime Minister must put forward a vision as a statesman instead of saying I will be in power for five more years and not talk about what he has done over the past 10 years.

In response to Modi’s North-South divide allegation, Kharge said Modi, as CM of Gujarat, had urged the UPA to give 50% of tax revenue to states. “He had said Gujarat gives Rs 48,600 crore but gets only 2.5% in return. When someone else says this, he becomes a “desh drohi (traitor)”. It becomes “desh todne ki baat” (talk of dividing the country),” the Congress president said. He also accused Modi of dividing the country and instigating people and riots.

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