Rahul Gandhi scores a self-goal while trying to attack Narendra Modi over wealth inequality

It has become quite a habit with Congress President Rahul Gandhi to lie his way through politics. We caught him lying during Gujarat elections. After Rahul Gandhi’s blatant lies about the Nano factory, Tata Motors itself had to issue a statement. Another time, after his lie was caught, Rahul Gandhi had to delete his tweet altogether. He has certainly developed a penchant for lying, and this time was no different.

This time, Rahul Gandhi timed his woke tweet on rising inequality as soon as the Prime Minister concluded his speech at the World Economic Forum’s plenary session at Davos. However the article shared by Rahul Gandhi had damning indictment of UPA rule itself. The article had mentioned a report titled ‘Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?’

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The report had evaluated rising inequality in the period of 1922 -2014, much of it ruled by Congress and Rahul Gandhi’s ancestors. A more careful scrutiny of the Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report also indicates the fact that wealth of top 1% fell in the 2016-2017 period. Rahul Gandhi conveniently dropped the part which said that 73% of wealth “in the year 2017” went to the top 1%, and chose to word his tweet as a generalisation giving the impression that 73% of India’s entire wealth accrues to the top 1%, where according to the report, 73% of India’s total wealth accrues to the top 10% of the population.

Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj 

The  report titled Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj ‘ (2017) brought out by Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel said that the India witnessed a sharp rise in income of top 1% since 1980s. The study had taken inputs from household surveys, national accounts and NSSO survey.

According to the report the share of income of bottom 50% had grown at a substantially lower rate ever since income tax was introduced in 1922. The report further said that the income of middle 40% of the population grew at a slower rate than average whereas the top 1% grew faster than average. Thus, it hints at a bad deal for middle classes at the cost of elite 1%. This is a damning indictment of the UPA rule itself, as Narendra Modi took over only in 2014. The report says :

We find that the bottom 50% group grew at a substantially lower rate than average growth (Figure 1a) since the 1980s. Middle 40% grew at a slower rate than the average (Figure 1b). On the contrary, top 10% and top 1% grew substantially faster than the average since 1980 (Figure 1c).

Huge embarrassment for Rahul Gandhi

The Congress president’s attempt to take a potshot at Narendra Modi backfired as social media users pointed out that the article shared by him highlights the growth of income inequality during the tenure of his own government.

73% of wealth owned by the rich is also a lie. Wealth of top 1% of population has fallen

Rahul Gandhi claimed that the 1% of the population controls 73% of the wealth. But even this claim turned out to be a lie. The Credit Suisse ‘Global Wealth Databook‘ that is the source for Oxfam report said that the top 10% of the population had 73% of the wealth and the top 1% had 45% of the wealth. In fact that the wealth of top 1% of the population had reduced from 58% in 2016 to the current 45% level in 2017 according to Credit Suisse.

However, it is also telling that Oxfam included a new data point that found “73% wealth accumulated in 2017 went to top 1% of the population”, without mentioning that the income disparity had actually been reduced between 2016 and 2017. It is also telling how many media houses, chose to say “India’s 73% wealth goes to 1% population” when that specific data point was only for 2017.

Apart from this, the following graph makes it extremely clear how the income disparity has risen over the years, and it got really stark during the UPA years.

Appears that Rahul Gandhi has decided to continuously peddle lies in order to take potshots against the Narendra Modi government. One can only expect them to increase the frequency of propaganda as the 2019 elections approach.

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