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Congress to hold state-wide protests against Modi govt over economic slowdown from Monday

PTI     November 3, 2019

Congress in Karnataka on Sunday said it would organise state-wide protests from November 4 to 14 on the economic situtation in the country, which it described as as being "in an ICU" as it accused the Modi government of pushing the country towards a 'financial emergency.'

The party also warned the union government against signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - free trade agreement, without holding wider consultations.

"The country's economic situation is in such a state that it is in an ICU...employment generation has completely stopped and has reached a coma rather people are losing jobs as industries are shutting down," Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters here.

He alleged that people were unable to save money and the situation of banks had reached a 'sorry state'.

"It looks as though there is a financial emergency in the country," he said.

Rao said Congress would kick start its protests on the state of economy and the 'flawed economic policies' of the central government at Mundgod of Uttara Kannada district on Monday, in which senior party leaders would participate.

This would be followed by protests in Shivamogga on November 5, at Hassan on November 7, and on November 12,13 and 14 at Bijapur, Raichur and Chitradurga respectively, Rao said.

On November 9 there will be district level protests, he said, adding that a large-scale protest would he held in Bengaluru on November 11 on economic issues and also an awareness campaign to make people aware of it.

He pointed out that when Narendra Modi first became the Prime Minister, he had sold many dreams to the people of the country becoming an economic power and doubling farmers' income. "However the numbers (now) dont show it happening."

He cited figures by several agencies about increase in unemployment, dip in GDP, fall in private sector investment, industrial, manufacturing, core sector growth and exports- and increasing NPA, he said,

"Tax revenues have also fallen...on the whole, the fiscal situation of the country is very bad. The situation has reached this level because of decisions like demonetization and unplanned implementation of GST," he alleged.

Rao said the government lacks a reform policy and was instead indulging in "headline management" by organising large scale events in foreign lands to divert attention from the real issues

"Modi is not heeding the advice of anyone and is leading us to destruction," he said

Slamming the government for its reported plan to sign the RCEP without holding any discussions, Rao pointed out that it was about to be signed in a day or two and demanded to know if experts or Parliament had been consulted on it, the public made aware of the contents and pros and cons of signing it.

"If Modi signs the RCEP agreement, it will lead to extermination of our economy," he said.

The Congress, Rao said, has made it clear that the government should not sign it and there should be a debate on it in the country.

The RCEP - a mega free trade agreement - was being negotiated among 10 ASEAN countries with their six FTA partners (India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand), and the proposed deal is expected to be finalised and signed in a day or two.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Bangkok for the RCEP meet, has said the pact should be mutually beneficial for all parties.

Also read: Congress to hold 10-day protest against Modi govt over economic slowdown

Also read: Rahul Gandhi goes on a foreign trip ahead of Congress protest over economic slowdown

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