Apparently well serving their purpose, Rahul Gandhi’s hugging and winking have sensationalized the recent no trust vote in the parliament. But they have also brushed the important issues raised under the carpet. Thus, the debate requires analysis.
Gandhi began his attack by accusing the government of making false promises. Calling them ‘Jumlas’ he said that farmers, youth, tribal and Dalits all fall victims to these. Citing labor Bureau’s Records he said that though the government promised to provide 2 crore jobs each year it could provide only 4 lakh.
To counter this, Modi linked Gandhi’s ‘Jumala strike’ to army’s famous surgical strikes. He went on and on praising them, sticking so closely to the issue without deviating at all!
In response to the employment issue, Modi said that 80,000 doctors graduate each year. If 60% of them start their own practice, while each hires 2 new people, this would generate 2,40,000 new jobs (somehow). He then applied the same logic to lawyers, chartered accountants, and the informal sector, summing it all to “more than one crore jobs per year”.
This logic is highly flawed. A statistical conclusion cannot be drawn based on mere speculations. Secondly, it doesn’t talk about type, sector, security or quality of jobs created.
Gandhi questioned the alleged thousands of crores being spent by the BJP on its publicity. He questioned the source of such massive funds. Without taking names he accused PM Modi of favoring his ‘mitra’ (businessmen) who in return fund him for the publicity.
He attacked Modi by calling him ‘bhagidar’ (the one involved in shady deeds) and not chaukidar (the protector) which Modi often calls himself.
In response, Modi took the moral high ground. He went on to blab about ‘Bhagidari’ and ‘chaukidari’, praising himself and recounting the achievements of his government.
But he didn’t say a word about money being spent on his publicity or on his alleged ties with businessmen.
This question was important because in the extension it demands an explanation for the finance bill of 2017.
The bill removed the upper cap to the amount which a corporate can fund to a political party. It also granted anonymity to the donors. This is a way of legalizing corruption.
This one turned out to be a blow up on Gandhi’s face. He accused defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman of lying about the increased price of the aircraft in the Rafale deal with France. He said that the price of Rafale increased after PM Modi went to France with some of his friends.
He said that though Sitharaman claims of a secrecy pact between the two nations, (under which the new prices cannot be disclosed) French president Emmanuel Macron personally denied the existence of any such pact to him.
But within few hours of Gandhi’s speech, the French government issued an official statement confirming the existence of the pact. What’s more, it was signed under Congress’ government, back in 2008.
Gandhi slammed Modi for his failure in the management of Doklam crisis. He said that Modi was in Jhula with Chinese President in Gujarat, and later 1000 Chinese soldiers infiltrated India’s Doklam region.
To counter, Modi played the classic card of ‘what about-ism’. Instead of explaining the crisis in Doklam he accused Gandhi himself of mingling with the Chinese ambassador.
Loan waivers to farmers
Gandhi said that the loan waivers to farmers weren’t justified and the promise of MSP was also a ‘Jumla’ or a false promise.
In response, Modi slammed Gandhi by revisiting the poor implementations of agricultural policies and the plight of farmers during UPA’s tenure. Again ‘what about-ism’.
Women’s safety and Mob lynching
Gandhi attacked Modi with the issue of increasing crimes against women and mob violence. He bashed Modi for his silence over the repeated cases of mob lynching and the patronage of accused by members of his party.
Modi responded lazily to this. He said that the state governments of places with such incidents are looking into the matters. He also appealed to them to take more stern actions against those who commit such acts violence.