New Delhi: Slamming Rahul Gandhi for his criticism of the Modi government's handling of the COVID-19 situation, BJP president J P Nadda said on Saturday that the Congress leader's understanding of these issues is limited and his statements are not aimed at addressing the crisis but are all about politics.
Addressing a press conference on the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's second term, Nadda said the last one year will be known for many bold decisions and timely actions to deal with the coronavirus in India when many big and powerful countries have found themselves "helpless".
The first year of the second term has been full of accomplishments and unimaginable challenges with the prime minister leading from the front and taking "bold and timely" decisions to combat COVID-19 crisis, he said.
Talking about the pandemic in his address to the party workers via social media, Nadda described migrant workers as the strong arms of the country and said the BJP is standing with them, and its workers and the Centre are doing everything for their safe journey to their destinations.
He said, amid the Coronavirus-forced lockdown, BJP workers carried out a campaign across the country to feed the needy and provided help to people in this time of crisis.
At the same time, the Modi government made provisions for providing free rations to 80 crore people, transferred cash in accounts of widows, senior citizens and disabled and women beneficiaries of Jan Dhan accounts, Nadda said.
Taking on Congress, Nadda said besides correcting the historical mistakes of the opposition party, Prime Minister Modi in his second tenure resolved many legacy problems related to governance.
If the first term of the Modi government was to establish the much-awaited reforms and infrastructure of a 'New India', then the first year of the second term of the Modi government will be known for taking tough and big decisions and turning challenges into opportunities, he said.
During the press conference, when asked about Gandhi's remark that the nation-wide lockdown has failed in its purpose, Nadda said, "Rahul Gandhi doesn't understand these issues deeply. His understanding and study of issues is limited. That is why he makes confusing remarks by sometimes questioning the lockdown and sometimes demanding why it was not being extended."
His statements are for political ends and all about politics, and they have got nothing to do with addressing coronavirus issues, the BJP president said.
He blamed the Congress for politicising the issue, and claimed that the BJP worked towards serving people during the crisis.
Answering a question, Nadda asserted the government's pitch for a self-reliant India is about encouraging Indian industrialists, and is not about going back or the subject of license quota, a reference to protectionist and control economy India practiced before the 1991 reforms.
"Our ethos will be progressive, not regressive," he said.
He noted that the coronavirus testing in India has reached 1.6 lakh per day from 10,000 earlier, and the country is manufacturing over 4.5 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) kits daily as well.
The BJP president cited the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, annulment of Article 370, strengthening of anti-terror laws and those against crimes against children and bank mergers among the government's key successes.
The Modi government took many such decisions in its second term that India had been waiting for decades. Many such decisions have been taken in public interest and to strengthen the unity, integrity of the country, provide social and economic justice, he said adding it also fulfilled BJP's ideological commitments.
He said Union Home Minister Amit Shah played a key role in many of these decisions.
Nadda said the Congress worked for long to delay a decision on the Ayodhya case and added that a grand Ram temple would now be built following a Supreme Court verdict.
Modi, since taking over as prime minister in 2014, changed the "political culture" of governance and infused it with momentum, he said.
The coronavirus situation will have an impact on political campaigns during elections, he said, adding that his party has been using technological tools to organise its activities.
The first major election in the coming months is the Bihar Assembly polls, slated for October-November.
He announced that the party will hold over 2,000 digital rallies across the country to mark the first anniversary of 'Modi govt 2.0'.