Attacked by detractors within the party of praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday accused Modi of maintaining “silence” on his ministers comments on controversial issues and conversion campaign by groups like VHP.
“Modi has to realise that his ministers simply don’t understand that they are pushing away foreign investments by campaigns like ‘ghar wapsi’.”
“Infact they don’t really care about foreign investors not coming in. Unless he does that, his economic agenda or the promises he has made to the voters cannot be fulfilled and if they cannot be fulfilled, well, Congress will be waiting for the next elections,” he said.
Tharoor was speaking at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival where he was on a panel to discuss his upcoming book “India Shastra.”
He also expressed his doubts about the success of the ambitious “Swachh Bharat Campaign” launched by Modi in 2014 Stating that the BJP leader had built his appeal by focusing on the “manifesting needs” of India but after having won an election, his ideals have given “a free ride to the most retrograde in society.”
“They are busy rewriting textbooks extolling the virtues of ancient science, projecting self reliance against free trade and foreign investment and asserting the India’s identity must be purely Hindu,” Tharoor said. The Congress leader said “implementation of ideas has always been our weakness.”
“If Modi can overcome this he will create a place for himself in the history but so far we in the opposition have not seen enough to dispel our skepticism,” he said.
Tharoor, who had been criticised by Congress leaders for praising Modi in the past said, the latter was at the helm of a party like BJP, which is “ill-suited” to the challenge of delinking India’s polity from religious identity.
“His rise to office has empowered the khaki short wearing cultural organisation of RSS whose views on every subject, be it economics, politics, history, culture, morality, gender reality and even matter of dressing and conduct are totally illiberal,” Tharoor said.
The Congress leader said there was a gap between “eloquent speeches and liberal announcements with an absence of any “tangible action map, adequate funding or execution capacity” by the Prime Minister.
“The jury is still wondering whether we can celebrate the Modification of India,” Tharoor said. The author-politician said he was awaiting the upcoming Budget session.
“I hope it’s a game changing budget and not a name changing one,” he said in a reference to changing the names of government schemes.