A draft proposal on Agriculture, Employment and Poverty Alleviation at the 84th session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) states that, “The wealth of the richest 1% has gone up by 73% while the wealth of the bottom half of the population has grown by just 1% during the BJP regime.”
However, the claim made in the proposal can be demonstrably proved to be false and it appears to be just another canard the Congress has come up with in recent times.
According to the Credit Suisse Wealth Data Books, the share of the wealth of the top 1% has actually shrunk between 2014 and 2017 (under Narendra Modi government) while it had increased in the period between 2010-2014 (under UPA government headed by Congress).
In 2010, the share of the top 1% in the wealth of India was 40.3% in 2010, which increased to 49.0% in 2014 and then decreased to 45.1% in 2017. Thus, it goes to show that the rich had actually a better time during the rule of the Congress party, though the party is trying to paint Modi government as pro-rich.
Furthermore, the share of wealth the top 5% and 10% had increased during UPA-2 as well but decreased during the rule of the Modi government. Also, the wealth of the bottom 90%, which had a negative Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.75% during UPA-2, has grown at the rate of 12.43 CAGR since the Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.
However, it wasn’t the first time that the Congress Party has goofed up on the issue. Rahul Gandhi, himself, in one of his tweets after Prime Minister Modi’s speech at the World Economic Forum, appeared to claim that the top 1% owned 73% of the wealth in India, which turned out to be a self-goal.
Not only Rahul Gandhi had shared an article that quoted from a report titled ‘Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj’ — thus indicating his own dynasty and party rule — the data showed that the situation had become better since Congress lost power in 2014.
But the Congress party had more goof-ups to offer at its plenary session apart from its draft proposal and Sonia Gandhi impeccable Hindi.
P Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister, went to the extent of claiming that the NDA government inherited a strong economy in 2014 despite the fact that India was among the ‘Fragile Five’ at the time. The Fragile Five, a term coined by Morgan Stanley, refers to economies which are too dependent on unreliable foreign investment to fund their growth ambitions. India was taken off the list in 2015 only after the NDA came to power in 2014.
The former Finance Minister had said, “Modi government inherited a strong economy. The task of development has to be continued by future generations. However, today, the Indian economy is decoupled from the world economy which is growing.” One sometimes wonders where does Mr Chidambaram get these ideas from but then the face of Rahul Gandhi comes to mind and everything begins to make perfect sense.
India’s GDP grew under Narendra Modi has been growing at consistently at over 7% barring the blip in 2017 when it registered an annual growth of 6.72%, and is projected to grow at 7.4% in 2018-19 and will reclaim its tag of the fastest growing economy in the world. The growth rate is expected to further rise to 7.5% in the next fiscal year as a consequence of the economic reforms undertaken by Narendra Modi.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose rediscovery of his voice remains the greatest example of ‘Vikas’ under Narendra Modi, sang the same tune at the Plenary Session. He stated that the BJP-led NDA government had “messed up” the economy. Of course, one would imagine close proximity to Rahul Gandhi has had a significant impact on how he perceives reality. It appears that Manmohan Singh’s idea of a well-functioning economy involves a huge spike in NPAs, corruption at levels the country had not witnessed before, and an honourable mention among the ‘Fragile Five’ economies.
The Congress party’s allegations of mismanagement of the economy by the Bharatiya Janata Party is fast losing credibility. They compromise on basic facts to score political points against Narendra Modi but time and again, only end up embarrassing themselves. Or perhaps they have got brazen as they know that no one in the mainstream media will call out their lies. Recently, the owner of India Today network was seen grovelling before Sonia Gandhi.
Despite the extreme pessimism spread by the party regarding the economy, the world continues to regard India as a ‘bright spot‘ in the world. And one has to admit, transforming a ‘Fragile Five’ economy into a ‘bright spot’ remains a stunning achievement of the NDA government under the leadership of Narendra Modi. But perhaps Congress believes in repeating a lie multiple times till it becomes the truth.