Citing the Narendra Modi governments "complete failure in all spheres" and lambasting it for unemployment reaching a four-decade high, the Congress on Thursday called President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint session of Parliament, "insensitive" and an "insult" to the people of India who are "reeling" under the BJP rule.
The Congress also attacked Kovind hailing demonetisation as an achievement of the government and questioned his failure to give data on employment on a day when a report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) revealed India's unemployment rate hitting a 45-year high in 2017-18 and warned of the employment crisis triggering instability.
"The Modi government has been a complete failure in all aspects and what can be more unfortunate that used the President's address as a tool to try and give credence to its false promises and rhetorics," Congress leader Anand Sharma told the media on Kovind's address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament ahead of the Budget session.
"If the promises were really fulfilled, the President's address would have data on employment. Rather the missing of the data in his speech is a reflection of unemployment which has now been revealed to be highest in 45 years," said Sharma.
"There can be nothing far from true than the President calling demonetisation a great achievement of the Modi government. As the NSSO reports reveals, demonetisation has devastated the economy and jobs.
"The President hails demonetisation as successful in curbing corruption when the fact, as revealed by the RBI, that over 99 per cent of the demonetised money was back," he said.
"What we have been repeatedly saying about demonetisation has been proved by the report which the government has kept under wrap but has been revealed by the media," said Sharma and warned about the employment crisis triggering instability in the country.
"While overall unemployment rate has been at 45-year high, among the youth it is the highest, particularly in rural areas. The demographic divide that India has will trigger a crisis situation and instability if the youth are not employed and skilled," said the former Union Minister.
Pointing to exports nosediving, peaking unemployment and plunge in investments, Sharma also contested the government's claims on the growth of economy.
"If the Make in India is really as successful as the President claimed, then why is the manufacturing sector suffering, why the investments are plummeting and why banks' loans to industries have not risen," asked Sharma.
"Modi's false and tall promises are the hallmark of this government and the President in his address tried to give credence to them. This is insensitive and insult to the people of the country," added Sharma.