PC takes on Modi's growth figures

PC takes on Modi's growth figures

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday attacked the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for staging a “fake encounter with facts” to claim an 8.4-per cent growth during the BJP-led NDA government’s six-year rule.

Chidambaram’s barb led to an equally caustic response from the opposition party, with BJP MP Yashwant Sinha accusing him of indulging in “terrorism with facts” by drawing “unequal” comparisons between the UPA’s nine-year rule with that of the NDA government.

In a statement issued a day after Modi made the claim at the annual national convention of Overseas Friends of the BJP at Florida in the US, Chidambaram said average growth during the Vajpayee government’s six-year tenure was six per cent. The average for the UPA I was 8.4 per cent.

“I wonder why Narendra Modi should stage a fake encounter with facts. Ultimately, facts will prevail,” Chidambaram said. In order to support his statement, Chidambaram gave an official break-up of growth rate during the NDA regime. He put the figure at 6 per cent.

Chidamabaram’s counter-attack reflected the Congress strategy of not allowing Modi to take easy picks on the UPA government.

BJP leaders pounced on Chidambaram. Sinha accused Chidamabaram of indulging in “statistical jugglery” with growth figures. Later, the opposition party held a press conference, primarily to target the Congress. Rajya Sabha Deputy Leader of the Opposition Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Chidambaram is not only factually incorrect but he is also being economical with the truth.”