A day after the Congress slammed the Central government over the issue of rising prices of vegetables and other essential food items, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge hit out at the Modi government on Wednesday. While targeting rising prices and unemployment, Kharge said the people will not buy into the ‘hollow slogans’ of the BJP this time and will ensure it is booted out of power in the forthcoming general election.
“Both inflation and unemployment are increasing continuously due to the loot of the Modi government. But the BJP is engrossed in the greed for power,” Kharge alleged in a tweet in Hindi.
Kharge said unemployment rate in the country has gone up to 8.45 per cent and the prices of vegetables are skyrocketing. In villages, the unemployment rate is 8.73 per cent and demand for MGNREGA is at its peak, but there is no work; the rural wage rate has also come down, he added.
“Narendra Modi ji, the people of the country know that before elections, you are working on slogans like ‘achche din’, ‘amrit kaal’, so that your failures can be glossed over with the help of advertisements. But this time it will not happen, the public is aware and will answer to your hollow slogans by voting against the BJP,” the Congress chief said.”Leave alone forgiving, the public will wipe the BJP out of power,” Kharge maintained.
The women’s wing of the Congress party held a protest outside the BJP office in New Delhi on Tuesday. It demanded relief from rising inflation for people. At a press conference, where the party had kept a basket of tomatoes, garlic, ginger and green chillies, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said that this could be a good gift option since it costs over Rs 1,070 because of the rising inflation.
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, the Congress claimed that the June 2 train tragedy in Odisha’s Balasore was a result of human error. At its root lay the failure of the management and the political leadership. The opposition party also alleged that the Narendra Modi government has “thoroughly compromised” on basic issues of railway safety.
The Congress said ‘wrong-signalling’ was found to be the main reason for the accident involving three trains in Balasore. It flagged ‘lapses at multiple levels’ in the signalling and telecommunications (S&T) department, according to the high-level inquiry. The probe indicated that if past red flags were reported, the tragedy could have been averted .
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, in a reaction to the report, said, “This is what we have been saying all along. In the craze for inaugurating Vande Bharat trains, fixating on bullet trains and tinkering with specialised cadres, the Modi government has thoroughly compromised on basic issues of railway safety that don’t make for photo-ops and headlines.” Ramesh asked in a tweet, “Clearly, the Balasore tragedy was human error at the root of which is management failure, which includes the political leadership. What will it take to bring the overall approach to the railways back on track?”
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate, citing the report, hit out at the BJP-led Centre over the report; she said it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that train passengers reach their destinations safely. “All the lies of the government have fallen flat through this report,” Shrinate said. “We would like to appeal that do not get into this business of hot food and new Vande Bharats. First ensure the safety of those travelling by train. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that people reach their destinations safely and not just keep flagging off trains,” she said.
The government also came under attack from Congress MP Manickam Tagore, who criticised the government over the report and asked how could Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw hold onto his position when his “inaction killed hundreds of passengers who believed they won’t die before reaching home”.
According to the independent inquiry report submitted by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) to the Railway Board, remedial actions could have been taken by the S&T staff if the “repeated unusual behaviour” of switches connecting two parallel tracks was reported to them by the station manager of Bahanaga Bazar, which was the spot of the accident.
There was a similar incident on May 16, 2022 at the Bankranayabaz station in the Kharagpur division of the South Eastern Railway, on account of wrong wiring and cable fault, the report said.
Involving the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express from Shalimar, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a stationary goods train, The Balasore accident took place near the Bahanaga Bazar railway station on June 2. It left 292 people dead and more than 1,000 injured.