Deception, betrayal of people’s faith hallmark of Modi: Congress

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Slamming the Narendra Modi government, the Congress on Monday said that deception of voters and betrayal of people’s faith has become hallmark of the present Prime Minister’s brand of politics.

Talking to the media, Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar also flayed Prime Minister Modi for allowing banks to slap penalty on the customers if a minimum balance is not maintained in their accounts.

“The Modi government has become synonymous with hoodwinking, jumlabaazi, backstabbing, deception, betrayal, treachery, duplicity and falsehoods,” Kumar said.

“Deception of voters and betrayal of people’s faith is the hallmark of Modiji’s brand of politics. After the improper decision of demonetisation, Modi government is now severely hurting the finances of the poor and the middle class by levying a charge on maintaining a minimum balance in bank accounts,” he said.

“The State Bank of India had done away with the minimum balance criteria for savings bank accounts. The UPA government in 2012 had put a halt of such charge, but the Modi government has re-introduced it,” he added.

The party, quoting the SBI website, alleged that according to the information available on the bank’s website, the monthly average balance that customers needed to maintain in their savings bank accounts in SBI branches in metropolitan areas was Rs 5,000.

“In case the monthly average balance is below 50 per cent, then a charge of Rs 50 plus service tax will be levied. If the shortfall is between 50 and 75 per cent, then the account holder will have to pay Rs 75 plus service tax and if the shortfall in the average balance is more than 75 per cent, then a charge of Rs 100 plus service tax will be levied,” said Kumar.

The Congress also said the Modi government claimed to have opened 27.77 crore Jan-Dhan Accounts (till February 22, 2017), of which almost 25 per cent (6.94 crore) were zero balance accounts.

“Although the SBI circular at the moment excluded the Jan-Dhan Accounts, knowing this government’s past record, under the pressure of mounting debts and NPAs, it will not be a surprise if they do a ‘U’ turn on this,” he said.

“With this decision, Modiji is usurping the hard-earned money of the poor and benefitting the banks, so that they can show it as profit and also help them reduce their surging NPAs,” Kumar alleged.

The Congress party also attacked the Modi government for doing away with subsidy to sugar manufacturers.

“Another move by the Modi government hits the households of poor families. With one stroke, the central government has taken away Rs 4,500-crore subsidy to sugar manufacturers, which poor families availed of when they bought sugar from PDS shops,” Kumar added.