White Paper vs Black Paper As BJP, Congress Spar Over 10-Year Performance

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Congress chief Kharge has accused PM Modi of saying “countless false things”

New Delhi:

The main opposition Congress is set to bring a ‘black paper’ to counter the Narendra Modi government’s ‘white paper’ on its performance over the past 10 years. Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge will be releasing the ‘black paper’ shortly, sources have said.

The move is aimed at countering the BJP government’s move to bring a white paper, listing its achievements since it came to power in 2014. In her budget speech on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that the government will table a ‘white paper’ in both Houses of Parliament “to look at where we were till 2014 and where we are now”. The only objective behind this move, she said, “was to draw lessons from the mismanagement of those years”.

The short budget session has seen heated exchanges between the treasury and the Opposition benches. Prime Minister Modi has launched attacks on Opposition leaders during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.

The Congress president, who was the Prime Minister’s prime target in Rajya Sabha yesterday, hit back in a post on X.

Accusing the Prime Minister of saying “countless false things” against the previous UPA governments, he flagged the rise in unemployment rate, drop in average GDP growth rate and vacant government posts under the incumbent government.

“Despite being in power for 10 years, instead of talking about himself, he only criticises the Congress party. Even today he did not talk about price rise, unemployment and economic inequality?” Mr Kharge said, adding, “‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ is only to spread LIES!”

BJP leader Jayant Sinha has, meanwhile, said the government’s ‘white paper’ will highlight the country’s “poor economic condition” when the Congress-led UPA left power and how the BJP dispensation brought the turnaround.

Participating in a debate on the interim Budget in Lok Sabha, Mr Sinha said India was among ‘fragile five’ economies globally when the UPA was in power in 2013.

“India’s GDP growth had slowed down to 5 per cent, inflation had risen to 10 per cent, NPAs of banks had risen to 10 per cent. The country was facing balance of payment crisis,” the BJP MP said. He said that the Narendra Modi government had brought the turnaround.

“In the white paper, we will clarify what was the position of economy (before 2014)…and how we have tackled the economic problems,” Mr Sinha said.

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