The campaign, with the slogan Chhe mahine paar/ U-turn sarkar, will run for a while as the Congress feels the government has taken several U-turns since coming to power with a huge majority.
The party claims the U-turns are a pointer to the Prime Minister’s “duplicity” as there is no political or coalition compulsion for such changes in stance.
The two issues that Congress communications chief, Ajay Maken, has so far dealt with are China and black money. The campaign is running under the hashtag, #UturnSarkar, on social media.
Claiming the government had done a U-turn practically every week, Maken has provided details of Modi’s positions on China and black money before and after the general election. The party has dug out Modi’s tweets on both issues and contrasted them with his government’s position to buttress its charge.
The Congress will later deal with the CAG report, disruption in Parliament, land acquisition and GST bills to expose the BJP’s alleged duplicity.
On China, Maken said: “Modi said in August 2013 at an election rally in Hyderabad ‘China intruded into our territory, but the government, instead of forcing it to return, signed deals with it, agreeing to withdraw our own troops. It is shameful that the external affairs minister, despite the repeated incursions by China, went to Beijing and praised the city, going to the extent of saying that he wished he could stay there’.”
Maken added: “Again raising the issue of Chinese incursion, Modi as Gujarat chief minister attacked external affairs minister Salman Khurshid for his remarks on his visit to Beijing. Modi said: ‘Shame, Shame, Shame on You. Shame on You, who are running the Government of India. You are spraying acid on the wounds of 125 crore Indians’.
“Then again on August 5, 2013, he said: ‘From China’s intrusions to Pakistan’s ambushes — UPA Government has been absolutely lax in securing Indian Borders. When will Centre wake up?”
Maken gave details of incursions by Chinese troops after the Modi regime came to power and pointed out how senior ministers had started talking of “perception difference” being at the root of border problems, just as the UPA had done.
On black money too, Maken presented statements of BJP leaders quoting an astounding figure and promising to bring it all back within 100 days. He gave links to speeches in which Modi had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh in the accounts of each Indian family after all the black money was brought back.
He also quoted cabinet ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar questioning the UPA for not revealing the names of account holders.
Maken then pointed out how the Modi regime had approached the Supreme Court through an affidavit, saying it was unable to disclose names as it was bound by double taxation avoidance agreements with various countries.
He said not even a single paisa had been brought back so far and Modi was now saying nobody knew how much black money there was.
Maken claimed the biggest U-turn came when finance minister Arun Jaitley declared that those pressing for revelation of names were actually helping the account holders and the government would not fall for that “one-day thrill”.
In the Lok Sabha last week, Jaitley said the government was contemplating an appeal in the Supreme Court to honour international treaties that had confidentiality clauses.
Jaitley also said electoral rhetoric should not be confused with the intricacies of governance. He said “political battles can go on”, suggesting that governments could not be hauled up because of lofty promises made by political parties to win elections.
-The Telegraph, Calcutta