In a rebuttal to PM Modi’s speech at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention at Varanasi, the Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misusing public money and government podium to spread the BJP's propaganda and to attack the opposition.
Strongly objecting to Modi using the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi as a stage for election campaigning, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma demanded the Election Commission's intervention.
“The Prime Minister is the principal propagandist of the BJP. He is travelling the country and using government resources and the machinery which he can as Prime Minister, for government programmes, government schemes, inauguration but he cannot use public money and resources and all the facilities that come with the office of the Prime Minister to address his party meeting, to engage in political propaganda which is also abusive berating the opposition party,” he said.
"No Prime Minister has violated certain traditions and standards, ethical standards, which are expected of a Prime Minister. As Prime Minister what he says, he has repeatedly undermined the dignity of his own office but he is not concerned. No Prime Minister in the history of India holds the record of wasting public money for election campaign. The Prime Minister is the BJP's chief propagandist and has used his entire tenure for the propaganda of BJP," Sharma added.
The Congress leader accused Modi of lowering political discourse to "gutter level".
Sharma claimed that ₹6,000 crore had been spent in "Modi's propaganda" which included public sector undertakings spending huge money to carry out the government advertisements.
"Modi cannot use public money and resources and facilities that come with the Prime Minister's office to engage in political propaganda and berating the opposition.
"He is the first Prime Minister who is full of vitriol and ill will against the opposition, particularly the Congress, and has the dubious distinction of dragging political discourse to gutter level," said Sharma.
Taking a jibe at Modi's claims of India making rapid progress in all spheres under his regime, he pointed to the slumping economy and questioned why all economic parameters give a contrary picture.
"Instead of making tall claims, Modi must answer why are we losing jobs. Instead of creating them, 1.10 crore jobs have been destroyed because of his policies. Investments have fallen by 7 percentage points and gross fixed capital formation remains in the negative.
"He must answer why exports are slumping and why there is flight of capital if indeed India has made so much progress under him," Sharma said.
With inputs from IANS