NEW DELHI – With the Assembly elections approaching in five states, and the Lok Sabha elections just around seven months away, the BJP has been accusing the Congress of indulging in ‘revari (a dry sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery) politics’ by offering freebies to people to win votes.
The Congress, on its part, has said that this is doublespeak by the saffron party just to lure voters, and also said that the grand old party is only trying to help people gain access to basic amenities, and if the BJP calls this ‘revari politics’, it simply shows their “pro-rich mindset”.
Speaking to IANS, Congress leader Syed Naseer Hussain said, “We have to understand one thing, that this government at the Centre has been there for the last nine years and the last nine years have been for the rich and big businesses.
“The poor people in the country have had no income for the last decade, or their income has gone down, poverty has increased, unemployment has increased and spending out money has decreased,” he said.
Targeting the government, Hussain said the responsibility of the government is to see that each and every citizen has access to basic amenities, basic livelihood, and something to survive on.
“So Congress in different states has been trying to help poor people survive, to see that they get basic facilities and basic amenities to have some sort of decent living,” he said.
Specifically referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah and the BJP, he said, “So if the prime minister, union home minister and BJP think that these are revaris then these remarks only show their mindset that they are pro-rich, pro-businessmen, pro-corporate and pro-crony capitalists.
“The Congress has always spoken about the poor and stood for the poor and fought for their cause. Because Congress continues to stand by the poor and seeks to utilise the various resources of the central government and the state governments,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Asked about the several central schemes for direct benefit transfers to farmers and providing foodgrain to the people, he said, “Actual spending of farmers has increased manifold in the last decade. What they are actually giving is peanuts. An amount of Rs 2,000 to farmers will help the BJP get votes, but their intention is not to give proper income to farmers to meet their needs. Their only intention is to lure votes. Giving Rs 2,000 is not revari, providing foodgrain is also not revari.
“The Congress continues to fight for the poor and stand by them. At the same time, we would really want the government to rescue the people from their condition. During UPA rule, a gas cylinder cost around Rs 450. Now it costs Rs 1,100, but the government has reduced the price by Rs 200 ahead of state assembly and Lok Sabha polls. For the past nine years they continuously raised the price, now they reduce it by Rs 200. This is being done to lure people.
“It is doublespeak by the BJP, they are falling into their own trap. People have understood that the government is pro-rich and supports crony capitalists, and that the Congress will fight for the poor,” he added.
The BJP has also been accusing the Congress of doling out sops ahead of assembly polls in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.