Sidhu launches direct attack at Modi, asks for 346 unfulfilled promises
By  Shimon Chadha | Updated:  Apr 13, 2019, 12:44 PM
Punjab State Minister of Local Government, Navjot Singh Sidhu, known for his upfront, blatant remarks, created an Internet uproar on April 11, in Raipur in Chhattisgarh, with his scathing attack directed at the BJP government, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular.
Ranging from issues of demonetisation, implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, to politicisation of the armed forces, and national security issues, and even the sufferings of the farmers, the former cricketer left no stone unturned in raising some very crucial questions about the five year tenure of the BJP, which is coming to an end on May 26, 2019.
At the press conference, Sidhu wondered what happened to Modi’s promise to the citizens before the 2014 elections, if providing jobs to at least two crore people in the country. He also spoke about how “90 lakh crore rupees are kept in Swiss banks”, but none has been returned yet, as was promised five years ago.
According to the television personality, the Central Bureau of Investigation had issued an affidavit which explicitly stated that 30 lakh crore rupees were kept in banks across the country, with no records of their source. However, the Modi government failed to take any action against it.
Sidhu mocked the BJP government for believing that “black money is hidden in the back of the car, or under the cots”. He went on to say that black money holders freeze their money in the form of gold, silver, property, land or in foreign currencies such as dollars, euros and pounds, which is why the government was unable to catch any of the offenders, through demonetisation.
The former BJP member questioned Modi for “running away”, questioning why he “did not have the courage” to focus on his own actions and moves which he had launched, such as demonetisation and GST for the election campaign, and was instead “using the armed forces as a shield for electioneering”.
The Punjab Minister of Tourism quoted Modi’s popular election slogan ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, and said that though all the “citizens had provided saath to the government”, only “industrialists like Ambani and Adani had any Vikas”. He wondered “who the chowkidar was, when Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya fled the country”.
Sidhu quoted Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s words which reflected the need to keep records of every item, every product being sold, by making a bill. Sidhu said that only the Rafale jets did not have a bill made. He went on to say that “this has never happened before in history. The aim was to fly a Rafale jet, but instead, its file was flown away.” He accused the government of “lying in the Supreme Court”.
The Congress leader criticised the saffron party for “finishing off all public sector companies”. He gave the example of the state-owned telecommunications company BSNL, which “suffered a loss of 8000 crore, whereas Reliance Jio earned a profit of 900 crore in one year”. He said that “this was the first time a Prime Minister was advertising for a private company”. Another example Sidhu gave was that of the multinational oil and gas company ONGC, which, prior to 2014, was in one lakh crore rupees surplus, but “Reliance stole oil worth Rs. 11,000 crore” from the firm, and did not pay back, despite orders.
The popular former cricket commentator mentioned that only the previous Congress government, headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh, had written off farmers’ debts worth Rs. 72,000 crore, unlike Modi, who had, in 2018 alone, let off millionaire industrialists with debts reaching the amount of Rs. 3.5 lakh crore.
Sidhu taunted the PM saying, “You rate ability in men by by what they finish, not what they attempt”, referring to the “346 promises made, but not a single one fulfilled”.
He questioned the result of the Ganga cleaning mission, and the promise of the government to bring about the Lokpal Bill in their tenure.
The two-time Lok Sabha member then raised the concern of national security. He said that “1700 terrorist attacks had occurred in these 5 years, the highest ever”, and that the Pulwama attack “was a national security intelligence failure”. He gave the statistical evidence of merely “8 soldiers martyred in 2010, as compared to 61 today”.
He remembered how earlier “resignations used to be asked after terrorist attacks”, citing examples of P. Chidamabaram, Vilas Rao Deshmukh and Shivraj Patil, but now, “we ask for votes after terrorist attacks”.
Sidhu further said that “those who question the Prime Minister ae considered anti-national. The government has made the Loktantra a Gundatantra”.
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