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BJP carpetbombs UPA over economy woes

BJP carpetbombs UPA over economy woes
Adding to a politically-charged Sunday, BJP fielded leaders like Yashwant Sinha, Piyush Goyal, Subramaniam Swamy and Smriti Iraani to take on the UPA on the state of the economy after ten years of UPA government. Party leaders held simultaneous press conferences in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Bangalore on Sunday as they lashed out at the Congress-led UPA for leaving the economy in tatters.

Fielding former finance minister Yashwant Sinha in Delhi, BJP on Sunday accused union finance minister P Chidambaram of ‘running the economy to the ground’ and posed an 18-point questionnaire to him on price rise, economic growth and job fronts.

The former FM also said that if voted to power, NDA government would revisit the proposal to double the price of gas from Reliance Industries-owned KG-D6 basin. CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and an NGO had earlier petitioned against the gas-pricing formula approved by a cabinet panel that would lead to a doubling of gas price from the current $4.2 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) to nearly $8.4/mmBtu with effect from 1 April. On being approached by the Centre, the Election Commission had last week said that the decision be kept on hold for two months till the Lok Sabha elections are over. Sinha claimed that the high economic growth rate witnessed in the first four years of UPA-I (2004-07) was largely on account of measures initiated by the NDA government and not because of any steps taken by UPA. ‘You really harvested what was sown by us,’ he said.

‘Isn’t it a fact that after 10 years of misrule by the UPA government, economic growth rate has once again slowed down drastically... The GDP growth rate for seven consecutive quarters has been below 5 per cent?’ he asked.

Sinha said the GDP growth rate has registered a mere 4.7 per cent in October-December quarter of 2013-14. Manufacturing and mining registered a decline of 1.9 per cent and 1.6 per cent during the quarter, he added. Sinha said these numbers would have been worse but for 7 per cent increase in the personal, community and social services category, that was more ‘reflecting irresponsible government spending rather than real economic expansion.’

Taking a dig at Chidamabram, who had announced he would not be contesting this elections, Sinha asked: ‘Isn’t it a fact that the markets have celebrated your announcement of not standing for the elections; that on 19 March 2014 when you made this announcement, the BSE sensex shot up by 125 points, that the forex market was also delighted and the rupee has strengthened considerably against the dollar since then.’

Incidentally, like Chidambaram, Sinha too has fielded his son Jayant from his Hazaribagh seat. Chidamabram’s son Karti will contest from family seat of Sivaganga. Quoting a survey by NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation), Sinha said that over six crore job opportunities were created between 1999-2000-2004-05 (NDA government) as opposed to 1.5 crore between 2004-05 to 2011-12 (UPA governments).
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