NEW DELHI: With Prime Minister
for a meeting on the proposed
(RCEP), Congress President
on Saturday said the mega trade deal would be a “body blow” to the economy which would result in untold hardship for farmers, shopkeepers and the small-scale industries.
Attacking the trade deal, she said, “We can ill afford to become a dumping ground for products – including agricultural produce from foreign countries.”
Sonia’s frontal assault over RCEP was accompanied by strong criticism of the Modi government over
, with the Congress chief saying that a sharp dip in GDP and 8.5% joblessness have brought untold misery on the common man.
“What is even more worrying is that the government is in complete denial. Instead of acknowledging the severe slowdown and looking for a comprehensive resolution, PM Modi is too busy managing headlines and events,” she said.
The comments came at a meeting of the AICC office-bearers where Sonia Gandhi instructed them to ensure success of the nationwide protest over economic slowdown from November 5-15. She urged frontal organisations like the students’ body to ensure participation of their target group.
After the ten-day protest, Congress will hold a public rally in the capital to highlight various issues.
As part of creating a broader political partnership ahead of
starting November 18, Congress has called a meeting of
During the discussions at the AICC headquarters, the Congress chief urged party leaders to simplify the complex economic picture for the common man to grasp its gravity. Among several suggestions, an office-bearer said it could be done through simple message like focussing on the plan to “mortgage gold”.
AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra suggested that protests should also be held at spots like closed factories or places that have witnessed job losses, as it creates an impact and sends the message across effectively.
She said rural economy under the Modi government has collapsed in sharp contrast to BJP’s election promise of doubling the farmers’ income. She said exports have declined even though India could have benefitted from global trade wars.
According to the Congress chief, it was unfortunate that government was ridiculing economic experts who were pointing out the slowdown and the reasons, even calling them “anti-nationals”.
Sonia accused the government of hypocrisy, saying it hiked the price of gas cylinders by an “enormous Rs 77 per cylinder” just as the recent assembly elections concluded.