Rising unemployment & inflation hurting nation, says Chidambaram

Adds that BJP-led govt has forced country to incur at least Rs 28 lakh crore loss in last 10 yrs
Congress leader P Chidambaram speaking at the Samaragni rally in Thrissur on Sunday.
Congress leader P Chidambaram speaking at the Samaragni rally in Thrissur on Sunday.(Photo | S Lal)

THRISSUR: Hitting out at the Centre over rising unemployment and inflation, veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram said by failing to double economic growth the BJP-led government has forced the country to incur at least a `28 lakh crore loss in the last 10 years due to its incompetence and financial mismanagement.

Speaking at the ‘Samaragni’ rally at Thekkinkadu maidan, Chidambaran termed the yatra, led by KPCC chief K Sudhakaran and Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, the Congress’ battle cry in its war against the BJP.

Questioning ‘Modi guarantee’, the prime minister’s principal slogan in the run-up to the general election, Chidambaram said that although Mr Modi has forgotten his promises, neither I nor the people of the country have forgotten them. “He [Modi] promised 2 crore jobs every year. In that case, 20 crore jobs should have been generated in the country in the last 10 years. Did he deliver on his promise?” he asked. “What has become of the PM’s promise to deposit `15 lakh in every citizen’s account, after getting his hands on black money deposited in Swiss banks, to keep tabs on fuel prices, double the income of farmers and create 100 smart cities in the country by 2022,” Chidambaram said.

Terming unemployment and inflation as the biggest problems that the country faces, he said, “Let us, the Congress and the BJP, debate these two factors. The national unemployment rate stands at 10% today. This is the official number, while the unofficial figure will be higher,” the former Union finance minister noted.

The unemployment rate among graduates is 40%, he said, adding all that the Modi government did was issue appointment letters to vacancies reported by the UPA government. “In central government institutions like hospitals, colleges and universities, and public undertakings, around 10 lakh posts remain vacant. Why have these positions not been filled in the last 10 years?” Chidambaram said.

Raising concern over the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, including rice, wheat and vegetables, Chidambaram said it was the poor that has been devastated by inflation. “Never before did the country face double-digit inflation for an extended period,” he said.

Touching upon economic growth, Chidambaram said that in 1990-91 the country’s GDP was `25 lakh crore. “In 12 years’ time it stood at `50 lakh crore. From 2004 to 2014 under the UPA government, GDP doubled to `100 lakh crore. Has Mr Modi doubled the GDP of the nation in the last 10 years? As per the budget presented on February 1, the GDP stands at `172 lakh crore. The country has lost `28 lakh crore to the incompetency of the BJP government. India has paid the price,” he hit out.

T N Prathapan MP, Remya Haridas MP, Benny Behanan MP, K Sudhakaran, V D Satheesan, DCC president Jose Vallur, among others, also spoke at the event.

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