NDA government ‘name changer’, not ‘game changer’: Congress

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New Delhi, Feb 5: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre is a “name changer” and not a “game changer”, since it keeps repackaging old schemes.

Participating in a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech in the upper House, Azad also countered the corruption allegations against his party, pointing out that they had emerged clean in the 2G case.

“This government always says that it is a game changer… It is not a game changer but just a name changer,” Azad said, adding that “I have a long list (showing) that names of all schemes since 1985 or later under the Congress rule have been changed,” he said.

The pillars that formed the foundation of the present government, namely allegations of corruption against the Congress, were falling one by one, Azad said.

“In the biggest allegation made against the Congress — 2G case, all accused were acquitted by the CBI court recently,” Azad said.

“Had it happened during our tenure, it would have been alleged that the government influenced it.”

He also referred to the Bofors case and underlined that the Attorney General had advised the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against filing a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in one of the cases related to the alleged scam, as the SLP could be dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s allegation of dynasty politics in the Congress, as mentioned by BJP President Amit Shah while initiating the debate, Azad said: “No one from that family (Nehru-Gandhi family) has become the Prime Minister of India for more than 30 years. They have also not been a part of the government…

“Why are you so scared of some leaders that when they are not alive anymore, now you fear their children,” he said.

Azad said while the BJP accused the Congress of politics of appeasement, under their rule, only those with a tilt towards “one party” were getting key government posts.

He also slammed the government over price rise and questioned the launch of their flagship schemes without doing the ground work.

Azad quoted an RTI query and said that so far Rs. 550 crore had been spent just on the publicity of the Swachh Bharat campaign, and quoting another study, he said that only 35 per cent toilets constructed under the programme were sustainable.

He also questioned the government’s vision of “New India”, saying: “What kind of a new India it is where eight-month-old girls are being raped?”

Referring to the allegations against BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, Azad made a tongue-in-cheek remark: “The BJP has a ‘scheme’ which can multiply money manifolds. It has the original scheme to turn Rs 50,000 to over Rs 80,00,00,000, but they don’t share it with us. If they do, everyone will be happy.”.

He also questioned the government’s promise of doubling farmers’ income, stating that the investment required for this would be around Rs.6.5 lakh crore and the growth rate around 10 per cent.

“This will never happen and farmers’ income will never double,” he said.

He also questioned the health care scheme announced by the government, stating that it would benefit the insurance companies and not the people.