The Congress today wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 71st birthday but said the country is paying the price for his "failures" on several fronts and so the day is being observed as "unemployment day", "anti-farmer day" and "high prices day".
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi extended his wishes to the Prime Minister on Twitter. "Happy Birthday, Modi ji," he said.
"There would have been no need for 'National Unemployment Day' had the BJP worked for the public and not for their 'friends'," he said in another tweet in Hindi.
For the Indian Youth Congress and the NSUI, it was "national unemployment day". The social media department also ran a campaign using the hashtag ''NationalUnemploymentDay".
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said birthdays of former prime ministers are celebrated as different days, with Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday as "Children's Day", Indira Gandhi's as "National Integration Day", Rajiv Gandhi's as "Sadbhavna Day" and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's as "Good Governance Day". But Prime Minister Modi's birthday is being observed as "unemployment day", she added.
She said she prays that God gives the Prime Minister the wisdom to realise what he has led the country to due to his ''incompetence and insensitivity''.
"It is the Prime Minister's birthday and from this platform, we wish him a happy birthday. We pray for his well being, but we do believe that this day is being celebrated in many parts of the country as unemployment day, anti-farmer day, high prices day, crippled economy day, as winning over your crony capitalists friends day, as ED, IT, CBI raid day, and the corona mismanagement day," Ms Shrinate told reporters.
"We do believe that in the last seven years, you have failed on several fronts and we hope and pray that God gives you the wisdom to realise that this is what you have led the country to. This is where you have failed and today as a result, India is paying a heavy price for it," she said.
She claimed India has the maximum number of unemployed people despite Prime Minister Modi's tall promises.
She alleged that every month, jobs are being lost and asked, "Where are those two crore annual jobs, one would want to ask? Why are 61 lakh government jobs lying vacant?"
Noting that farmers are protesting for nine months without a solution in sight, Ms Shrinate said high prices in gas, diesel, petrol, edible oil, pulses, daily essential items are making lives of people difficult.
She claimed demonetisation and GST have crippled the economy and there has been shutdown of MSMEs and small businesses as a result, as investment in the consumption chain is completely broken.
"Still, you have put India on sale for a few friends of yours and which is why, it is important that we are calling it the ''punjipati poojan divas'' (crony capitalist friends day)," she said.
Ms Shrinate also alleged that during Covid crisis, the country faced shortage of vaccines, oxygen, essential drugs as the Prime Minister was too busy electioneering and the "red flags were being manipulated to suit his image".
She accused the Prime Minister of misuse of ED, IT, CBI, as frontal organisations.
"The PM has broken the very framework of our Constitution and they have hurt the very foundation of our democracy and which is why, the 'ED, IT, CBI raid divas' is perhaps an apt coinage here," she alleged.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor wished Prime Minister Modi on his birthday for many healthy years in the service of the nation. "May he be able to work more successfully in the next two, to ensure that Vikas actually dawns in our country and is truly 'sab ka' and 'sab ka saath'! May he create work for the Indian people too," he said.
On the government administering over two crore vaccine doses to mark the day, Ms Shrinate said she wished the BJP and its leadership would get out of headline management.
India needs vaccination and only a small part of the population has been vaccinated yet and 113 nations were ahead of India, she claimed.
"Why is the BJP so obsessed over chasing headlines? Should it not be a continuous process, is the question we are raising," she said.
The Mahila Congress also took out a protest march over rising prices of essential commodities and demanded answers from the prime minister on when will his promise of ''Achche Din'' be fulfilled.