Project To Turn India Into Majoritarian Nation Has ‘Crippled’ The Economy: Congress
A supporter carries a Congress flag outside the party’s headquarters in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Project To Turn India Into Majoritarian Nation Has ‘Crippled’ The Economy: Congress

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The condition of the Indian economy is a “man-made tragedy” and the “project” to turn India into a amjoritarian nation has “completely crippled" its economic development, the Congress said on Tuesday.

The slowdown in India has a humanitarian side to it, manifesting in the death due to a heart attack of a PMC Bank accounrt holder and alleged suicide of Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

He cited a critical analysis of the government's policies by Parakala Prabhakar, a noted political economist and husband of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, to claim that the economy is in "grave danger".

Prabhakar, in an article in The Hindu, said there is anxiety all over about the economic slowdown in the country. "While the government is still in denial mode, data flowing uninterruptedly into the public domain show that sector after sector is staring at a seriously challenging situation," Prabhakar said in his column. He stated that private consumption has contracted, gross domestic product growth is at a six-year low and unemployment is at a 45-year-high.

The government, however, is yet to show signs that it has come to grips with what ails the economy, Prabhakar claimed.

Tewari attacked the government, saying that the condition of the economy is a "man-made tragedy". "The National Democratic Alliance-Bharatiya Janata Party government has manufactured the current economic crisis through its inaction and through policies which it has pursued over the past five years," he said at a press conference.

He also alleged that the fundamentals of the Indian economy are in difficulty.

"Be it savings, expenditure, credit off take and investment. The wheels of the economy have stopped rotating," he said. "Social discord and economic development cannot go hand-in-hand. This project to turn India into a majoritarian nation has completely and absolutely crippled the Indian economy," Tewari said.

Highlighting the PMC Bank scam and the State Bank of India's reported loan write-off worth Rs 76,000 crore, the Congress spokesperson said the confidence of the people in the banking sector is completely shaken.

Tewari also said that Economics Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, along with other economists, had written a letter in which they accused the government of fudging economic figures.

Former finance minister, the late Arun Jaitley, had described those who had written the letter as "compulsive contrarians", but the world has considered him to fit to be given a Nobel, Tewari said. "Our apprehension is that we will not be able to come out of this crisis as the government has no clue about it," he said.

Tewari also targeted the government over the judicial custody of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media cases, claiming that he is being held captive in a false case. "He had given a dream budget. We are not saying this, but the former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan had said this," he said.

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