How can everything be fine when unemployment, crime are on rise: Cong

New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) The Congress on Tuesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his 'everything is fine in India' remark at the 'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston, saying how can he make such a statement when inflation, unemployment and crime are on the rise in the country.Congress spokesperson Sharmishtha Mukherjee said the prime minister will have to tell the people on what steps his government is taking to curb price rise and economic slowdown.He cannot absolve himself from these key issues confronting every Indian by merely saying that "everything is fine in India", she said at a press conference here."The prime minister cannot hide behind his remarks that 'everything is fine' in India. He has to be accountable to the people of the country who are demanding answers on what steps the government is taking to revive the economy, check the slowdown and provide employment to the youth," Mukherjee said."In the last one week, there has been constant rise in petrol and diesel prices. The Modi government which has imposed heavy excise duties on petroleum products has once again further raised taxes in Modi-2 regime's first budget," she claimed.Mukherjee sought to know the steps being initiated by the government to check the prices of onions in Delhi. Trade data showed that retail prices of onions have shot up to Rs 70-Rs 80 per kg in the national capital owing to tight supplies.Petrol price was on Sunday hiked by 27 paise to Rs 73.62 a litre in the Delhi market -- the benchmark for national rates, according to a price notification by state-owned oil firms. The price of diesel was increased by 18 paise to Rs 66.74 per litre in Delhi.Mukherjee said unemployment in the country is at an all-time high and is more than ever in the last 45 years. People are also losing their jobs in the current economic slowdown, she claimed."India has a large youth force, which in general economic terms is considered as a demographic dividend. It is seen that if a country has more youths, it can yield higher demographic dividend. We need to positively and constructively channelise the youth. "Because if we fail to channelise the youth energy in a positive direction in a constructive manner, this demographic dividend may turn into a demographic nightmare," she said. The Congress leader alleged that there had been a rise in incidents of crime under the BJP's rule, especially in states like Uttar Pradesh. Goons are having a field day in Uttar Pradesh, she alleged. Talking about the economy, she claimed that manufacturing is at one of its lowest level is at 0.6 per cent in the last quarter and many sectors, including automobile, are facing a crisis and there could be millions of job losses due to this.The agriculture related employment has fallen and 91 lakh people lost jobs, and a total of about 8 crore people are unemployed, Mukherjee claimed. She said while agriculture is the one of the most important segment for employment in rural areas, this will negatively impact the gender equality and the empowerment of women. Mukherjee said as a responsible opposition, till the time the prime minister is in New York attending the UN General Assembly, "I don't think, we should comment on Kashmir, we should refrain from commenting on it."She, however, said, the Indian government has very categorically stated that this is a bilateral issue and no third party mediation is going to be there on Kashmir and "any third party mediation is not possible". PTI SKC SKC ANBANB