Amidst one of the largest crises that humanity is facing in general and India in particular, the all-powerful President of the Indian National Congress party had suggested a 5 point plan to the Prime Minister of India. Here is what, in the mind of Sonia Gandhi, will help India fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
First point suggestion by Sonia Gandhi to fight Coronavirus: Impose a complete ban on media advertisements
You would assume that given the magnitude of the crisis we are going through, the very first point would be something related to either medial related stuff or specifics of an economic revival package. Staggering to believe that amidst such a crisis, the first thought that comes to the mind of the President of Congress – Ban advertisements! What good is it going to do to anyone to ban advertisements? It is very important for us to ponder why the Congress party has a fascination with bans (starting right from the Frist amendment to the Constitution).
English media doyens, who often fancy giving a running commentary on everything and anything under the sun, are tight-lipped about this suggestion that is fatal to their own field. Is it because it came from the mighty Sonia Gandhi? Are they so afraid of her to even make a mild comment on this idea? Next time they scream “fascism”, you know which letter to point to!
Second point suggested by Sonia Gandhi to fight Coronavirus: Suspend the 20,000 crores “Central Vista” beautification and construction project herewith
You would think – Oh that’s a good suggestion, she wants to save a whopping 20,000 crore – and want to give merit to the thought. Here’s the thing – there is NO notification from the central government that this project will cost 20,000 crore. Here’s more – there has been NO allocation for the same in this year’s budget either. What then is the source of this number?
The number first appears in the report by The Print on 17th February. Where did they get the number from? Their report merely mentions “The project…is estimated to cost around Rs 20,000 crore, ThePrint has learnt.” That’s it – “ThePrint has learnt”. No details on how they “learned it”.
Strangely, The Print in its sourced PTI article on 16th January tells us that “The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has estimated that redevelopment of Central Vista will cost around Rs 12,879 crore.” No one has any clue on where both the numbers have come from. But let’s continue with the 20,000 crore number.
The Print in their article on 23rd March– Govt notifies land-use change for Rs 20,000-crore Delhi power corridor to revamp plan backlink to their own article regarding the 20,000 crore estimate as proof that the project is costing 20,000 crore. The Wire, The Week, The Hindu and the entire bandwagon hop on to this bus now – and dish out articles and graphics telling us how 20,000 crores are being spent on “beautification” and not on Coronavirus.
You would still think that the government notification on “land use change” will mention the amount. Here is the release– can you find any reference to the 20,000 crore amount? Can you find any reference to any amount and the plan for their releases? Here are the links for the full Gazette notifications– can you find any reference to the 20,000 crore amount? Fact is that there is a no official document that mentions this number.
It is still baffling as to how our media gets away with such blatant lies. Their co-ordination in spreading a lie is very praiseworthy though! That this co-ordination is supervised by the highest echelons in the Congress party is quite evident from how this lie made it to the letter by Sonia Gandhi. How else could she rely solely on media reports and write a lie to the Prime Minister of India?
More importantly, why should a redevelopment project be suspended? The project will provide employment to thousands, which in-turn can help in the revival of the economy. Does Sonia Gandhi not want a revival of our economy through such means?
Third point suggested by Sonia Gandhi to fight Coronavirus: It makes sense to order a proportionate reduction of 30% in government expenditure (other than salaries, Pensions and Central Sector schemes). And use the money to create an economic safety net
Yet another point bereft of any details. What exact expenditures are left after the “salary, pensions and central sector schemes” are exempted? If that expenditure is again put to help those in distress, will Congress again count that as an expenditure cost only? Why couldn’t she specifically tell us that the various areas that the Central government can cut expenses on? For example, since she wants central sector schemes to continue, does she want a reduction in how much the states get? Or does she want infrastructure projects to be halted? How can the mighty President of the Congress party not give any specifics in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India?
Fourth point suggested by Sonia Gandhi to fight Coronavirus: All foreign visits of PM, Ministers, Bureaucrats etc must be stopped.
This doesn’t make much sense. There is a travel lockdown now anyway. Why doesn’t Sonia Gandhi mention for how long she wants this ban to be in place? The Modi government has been most austere in planning for foreign visits even when the economy was going good, so this piece of advice looks as silly as Rahul Gandhi’s tweets.
Fifth point suggested by Sonia Gandhi to fight Coronavirus: Transfer all money from PM-CARES to PMNRF
While her personal interest has been exposed and discussed threadbare regarding the PMNRF, there is yet another staggering statement she has made – “I understand that Rs 3800 crores are lying idle in PMNRF”. What does “lying idle” even mean? Does she mean to say that PMNRF should have no funds in their account at all? The funds in PMNRF are to be used for disaster response, natural emergencies etc. This basically means that there must always be funds available in the PMNRF. Funds availability in PMNRF is not equivalent to money “lying idle”!
More importantly, no one really cares about this silly controversy that the English media and Congress ecosystem is trying to create. The enthusiastic response that PM-CARES has received is proof enough of how citizens of India care more about contributing than the silly controversy of where the money should go.
The disconnect of the Congress party
The suggestions by the President of Congress party do not include any points regarding help to migrant workers; help to the health sector employees; specific help to MSMEs (only a cursory reference to them); help to the IT sector, construction sector etc; details of any revival package; good things that various Congress party state governments are doing from which others can learn etc. Instead, there are lies, chicanery and repetitive rhetorical points that only boil down to saving some money and control of that money.
Infact, from all the five points, it is so clear as to how juvenile and disconnected the Congress party is with the people of India and how well connected it is with only the English media ecosystem.