Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading people by blaming the Congress for disruptions in the parliament and alleged that the government has only renamed several schemes of the previous UPA.Participating in the resumed debate on the motion of thanks on the president's address in the Lok Sabha, he said that several schemes including Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana were a recast of the programmes launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. "The old programmes have been brought with new names," Kharge alleged.
Accusing the government of having a "small heart," he said it does not take the opposition along, and termed Modi's remarks about Congress creating obstacles in running of parliament as misleading and inappropriate. "Stating that Congress creates disturbance is misleading. This is not correct," he said, adding that consensus, not blame game will help the government to run the parliament smoothly. Kharge said that if the government deviates from constitution and "walks along with RSS, the country will be destroyed". "We want to go by the constitution and see that you also go by it," he added.
Kharge contended that several initiatives of the UPA government including the rural employment guarantee act and the food security act had earned universal acclaim, and took digs at Modi for criticising Congress over the former, saying if Modi thinks his stature will grow by running down the opposition, then it is wrong.
"Ridiculing MGNREA is ridiculing the poor," he said. Modi was present in the house when Kharge spoke. The Congress leader said government's Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian had said that the rate of poverty reduction achieved from 2005-06 to 2011-12 was the fastest in the history of the country.He also said that 24 crore accounts had been opened under the basic saving bank deposit account scheme of the UPA government and asked if there was duplication with the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.He alleged that move by BJP state governments to introduce minimum educational qualification for panchayat posts was aimed at keeping weaker sections away from such posts. Kharge also said that agricultural growth had declined during the BJP-led government and social sector spending had come down while the corporate sector had been benefitted with tax concessions. He also said that the government has not been able to fulfill its promises of bringing back black money. Referring to the India Africa Forum Summit last year, Kharge said that leaders from many African countries referred to the role of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in fostering better ties but the Modi government was hesitant to do so.