Punching holes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims about job creation, Congress on Sunday accused him of hoodwinking the people at a time when his own Cabinet member, Nitin Gadkari, had claimed there were no jobs. Asking the PM not to play with statistics, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera wondered how could the government mix the statistics of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) with job statistics.
“How can the government mix the statistics of EPFO with job statistics,” Khera asked, referring to Modi’s claim in the interview about the creation of lakhs of jobs based on EPFO data. In an interview with ANI, Modi claimed that employment generation was evident from 45 lakh new subscribers in the Employee Provident Fund and 5.68 lakh people joining the New Pension Scheme in the last nine months.
Last month, EPFO revised down the net enrolment numbers for September-April by 3.95 lakh or 9.6 per cent to 37.31 lakh from its earlier estimate of 41.26 lakh released last month.
Quoting CMIE data, Khera said 1.26 crore people lost their jobs after demonetisation. He further said ILO data pointed out that 77 per cent people would either loose or would be on the verge of losing jobs by 2019. “The prime minister never challenged the data,” Khera said.
The Congress leader said Modi wanted to make people believe that the government’s “failures” were the “achhe din” the BJP had promised to people during its 2014 election campaign. “In 2014, Modi promised a lot of things but now all his ‘so-called targets’ are to be fulfilled in 2022 (108 months) now – a self-extension of 48 more months,” Khera said.
Khera said Modi could not even point out three big achievements of his government during the interview. “He said he can’t. That is the only honest admission in these interviews. He could not speak about his three achievements even after four years in power. He is the Prime Minister, he can not hoodwink the country like this. Do not play with statistics,” Khera said.
While Congress took on the PM regarding employment, TMC raked up the Assam National Register of Citizens issue. Latching onto Modi’s remarks that no citizen of India would have to leave the country, TMC MP Derek O’Brien asked what would happen to the 40 lakh people excluded from the draft NRC.
Here’s are two straight Qs. Challenge Central Govt to answer these Qs. Your time starts now ! https://t.co/FUdWT7qSYo
— Derek O’Brien (@derekobrienmp) August 12, 2018
“Why are about 40 lakh names of Indian citizens not listed in NRC? Of this, about 99% are Indian citizens. If this is not true, then why did Central government send about 400 companies to Assam? Is it to mute the protesters’ voices? Please answer,” O’Brien tweeted with the hashtag SaveIndianCitizens.
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sought to turn the focus to mob lynchings across the country. She hoped Modi’s statement condemning lynchings was followed by concrete steps and punitive punishment against the culprits. “Mob lynching has become the dominant discourse and its near normalisation has marked a new low for democracy in India. I hope the PM’s statement condemning it is followed by concrete steps and punitive punishment against the culprits,” she tweeted.
In the interview, Modi said even a single incident of lynching was unfortunate. “My party and I have spoken in clear words, on multiple occasions against such actions (lynching) and such a mindset. Even a single incident is one too many and deeply unfortunate,” he said.