NEW DELHI : The Congress on Tuesday accused the Modi government of "crushing voices of dissent" and attacked it over its performance in the last three years, calling it a "hero on TV and zero on the ground". Briefing reporters after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government had failed to fulfill its promises to various sections, including the youth and farmers.
He alleged that government machinery was being used to "silence voices of dissent".
"Whether it is political parties, print media or electronic media, the government does not respect voice of dissent. It seems it does not respect democracy," Azad said.
The meeting of CWC, which is the highest decision-making body of the Congress, was chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Azad, who was accompanied by Congress leaders Mukul Wasnik, A.K. Antony and P. Chidambaram, said the government may celebrate its three years and congratulate itself on television, but its performance has been disappointing.
"This is a government of slogans and publicity. It is hero on TV and zero on the ground," Azad said.
He said there was an atmosphere of fear among the Dalits, Scheduled Tribes, minorities and weaker sections.
"Even the media which does not toe the government line, how it has been dealt with, we saw yesterday," Azad said.
He was referring to CBI searches on Monday at the house of NDTV network's co-founder Prannoy Roy for allegedly causing financial losses to a private bank.
"Yesterday, we were seeing shamelessness. People have vanished with thousands of crores of bank money, what happened in Rs 50 crore that the government got rattled?" Azad said.
The CBI had registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika, a private company and conducted searches at his south Delhi residence and his house in Dehradun for "loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank".
Azad alleged that women did not feel safe in the country. He said BJP leaders had talked of generating two crore employment opportunities every year, but youth were actually losing jobs.
He said farmers had been promised minimum support price that was 50 per cent over the input cost.
"The promises have proved to be false," he said, adding that a large number of farmers commit suicide every year in the country.