The shehzada of the Gandhi family leaves no stone unturned to target PM Narendra Modi during his speeches. What allegations he makes against India’s Prime Minister it’s completely baseless and lacks basic sense. In spite of the fact that his claims lack factual evidence, he goes on with his blabbering and continues to be a laughing stock for the audience.
Launching an all-out attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had questioned why the self-proclaimed “chowkidar” of the country was mum on the Punjab National Bank fraud.
Accusing the PM of favouring industrialists, Gandhi had said despite the Centre hard selling its “zero corruption” stand, there was no Lokpal appointed to fight graft. “Whatever you do, you do it for people like Nirav Modi. You give thousands of crores money to super rich people in the country; while in Karnataka we give seven Kg rice at free of cost to the poor,” he had said at a rally in Karnataka’s Ramadurga area.
These were a few listed developments and claims made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on his second visit to Karnataka ahead of the polls. There are many points that the Congress president touched upon, but the mismatch between his “facts” and the available data (actual facts) is easy to spot.
Gandhi said, “Modiji… nudidante nade (practice what you preach). The country has not made you prime minister just to give speeches.” Arey, someone remind the Gandhi “Chirag” that PM Modi’s speech favours the Nation and his party. But whenever Raga opens his mouth he traps his own Congress party.
Mr Gandhi’s Claim 1:
“Narendra Modi ji ne MNREGA ko rok rakha hai. Jaise pehle paisa aata tha, aaj nahin aata hai. MNREGA pe congress party saal mein, 35,000 karod rupaye lagaati thi. Narendra Modi ji ne dhaai saal mein 1,40,000 karod rupaya sirf 50 parivaro ko diya hai. Kahaan MNREGA ke 35,000 karod, karodo hindustaniyo ki madat karne ke liye; aur kahan 1.4 lakh karod rupaya, sirf 50 logonki madat karne ke liye.”
“Narendra Modi has stopped MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme). It is not funded as it used to be. Congress party used to spend Rs 35,000 crore a year on MNREGA. Narendra Modi, on the other hand, gave away Rs 140,000 crore to 50 families. On the one hand, Rs 35,000 crore for crores of Indians, and on the other, Rs 140,000 crore for just 50 families.”
Rahul Gandhi is wrong on the claim about MNREGA.
The ruling NDA government has increased the budgetary allocation and actual spending to the world’s biggest employment scheme since 2015, with spending peaking at Rs 47,500 crore in 2016-17.
MNREGA spending by the UPA government peaked in 2010-11 at Rs 35,800 crore, after which spending went down to Rs 29,000 crore in the following year, and remained less than Rs 33,000 crore over the four years that followed.
Considering average inflation at 6% over six years from 2010-11 (year of highest spending) to 2016-17, a spend of Rs 50,000 crore would have matched the spending of 2010-11 in real terms. The NDA government was quite close.
We could not find any official source of Rs 1.4 lakh crore that appeared in Rahul Gandhi’s claim. Considering that he was referring to corporate loans ‘written off’ by banks, here is what we found. Public sector (government) banks wrote off Rs 1.14 lakh crore-bad debts owed to banks by big companies–in 2013-14 and 2014-15, which was more than half of Rs 2.11 lakh crore written off in 11 years since 2004.
“Bad loans written off by them between 2004 and 2015 amount to more than Rs 2.11 lakh crore. More than half such loans (Rs 114,182 crore) have been waived off between 2013 and 2015”, Indian Express reported on February 9, 2016.
The ‘writing off’ of corporate loans or clearing the balance sheets of banks and companies for tax purposes was started in the early 2000s, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. The ‘technical’ write-offs, as the RBI terms it, were about Rs 2 lakh crore in the 13-year period 2000 to 2013, covering the periods of the earlier Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government and the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. Also, the reference to 50 individuals could not be found.
Mr Gandhi’s Claim 2:
In 2012-13 during the UPA rule, not even one soldier died.
During the BJP regime in 2004, militancy was there in Kashmir. But the Congress government united the people of Kashmir and finished terrorism. But when BJP came back to power in 2014, civilians and soldiers are getting killed again.
Mr Gandhi said that not even one soldier died during UPA rule in 2012-13. In a reply to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, the then Ministry of Home Affairs (under UPA rule) gave details about the number of encounters between terrorists and security forces/ soldiers in the Kashmir Valley in 2012.
15 security force personnel were killed and 65 injured in J&K in 2012. So, surely Mr Gandhi was spreading misinformation and outright falsehood by saying that no soldier was killed in 2012-13. It is also disrespectful to soldiers who laid down their lives fighting terrorists in this period.
The other important observation that we can make is that the number of security force personnel killed went up to 35 in 2013 (even by July 28, 2013). This increase in the number of soldiers killed does not square with Mr Gandhi’s claim that the Congress government “finished terrorism”. If the then government had finished terrorism, why was there a sudden increase in the number of soldiers being killed?
Mr Gandhi’s Claim 3:
Whatever you do, you do it for people like Nirav Modi. You give thousands of crores money to super rich people in the country; while in Karnataka we give seven kg rice at free of cost to the poor.
Mr Gandhi’s complete oblivion to facts seems evident when he credits himself for the free rice available to the poor in Karnataka. Mr Gandhi cannot take the entire credit of Rice Scheme in Karnataka for the Congress, because the fact is that it is not sustainable without Central funding. Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Central Government bears Rs 29 per kg rice and the state pays Rs 3 per kg of rice.
RTI revealed that the Union Government’s rice allocation to Karnataka has consistently increased from July 2013, when “Annabhagya” began, till October 2017. In 2013-14, the Centre allocated 18, 46,964 metric tonnes to Karnataka and in 2016-17, it increased to 21, 17,015 metric tonnes.
As far as Mr Gandhi’s comments on the Nirav Modi episode are concerned, it is a known fact that the LoU’s, which allowed the scam in the first place, began under the UPA’s watch. Again, in the broader perspective, the whole NPA problem was created by the previous regime.
Mr Gandhi’s Claim 4:
“Humne 70000 karod (kisanonka) karja maaf kiya tha Manmohan ji ne. Congress party ki sarkar nahi thi UP mein (We waived off farmers’ loans to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore under Manmohan Singh’s prime ministership. There was no Congress government in power in UP at that time)”,
Rahul Gandhi has exaggerated the data on farm-loan waivers.
From an initial estimated cost of Rs 71,000 crore, the scheme disbursed Rs 52,000 crore over four years to 2011-12.
The UPA government introduced the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme in 2008 to address the large-scale agricultural debt issue. While the scheme was a political success in the subsequent general elections of 2009, when a Congress-led coalition was re-elected (Congress increased its Lok Sabha seats from 145 to 206), it was criticized by some economists.
The debt relief scheme encouraged default with respect to future loans, according to this 2013 report from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. “The stimulus had no effect on productivity, wages, or consumption, but led to significant changes in credit allocation and an increase in defaults,” said this 2016 World Bank research working paper. Farm-loan waivers damage the agricultural credit (loans) system, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said in November 2014.
Mr. Gandhi’s claim 5:
The Congress Vice-President had mentioned in his affidavit filed during nomination for Amethi that he had secured an M.Phil. Degree from the University of Cambridge.
Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that the Gandhi family has made false claims the over the years.
He claimed that Rahul Gandhi had wrongly mentioned in his affidavit filed during nomination for Amethi that he had secured an M.Phil degree from the University of Cambridge. The BJP leader said there was nothing wrong in not being a graduate, but making false claims amounted to misleading the people.
Swamy said he has written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to initiate prosecution proceedings against Priyanka Vadra and Sonia Gandhi for having more than one Director Identification Number (DIN). He denied any personal motives for these charges.