Opinion: The facade behind Congress clamour in Parliament
There is no substance in Congress's allegations of dictatorship nor in Rahul Gandhi's claim of dissatisfaction arising from unemployment. Why are Congress leaders doing the misdeed of encouraging terrorist activities in the name of unemployment, asks Prem Shukla
A group of individuals tried to create ruckus in the Parliament House by breaching the security. They reached the House with gas canisters hidden in their shoes. Their aim was to create a ruckus, but the kind of lapse in the security of the Parliament naturally raised a question mark on the security arrangements. The rioters inside and outside the Parliament were arrested. The Delhi Police registered a case against him under the UAPA and started an investigation.
The security unit for internal security of Parliament reports to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Naturally, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha directed the Home Ministry to investigate the matter and the Home Ministry constituted a high-level committee and started investigating the matter. This incident gave the INDI Alliance colleagues an opportunity to create a ruckus in the Parliament. A total of 142 MPs who created a ruckus in Parliament were suspended by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
During the uproar, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's statement came that the youth, troubled by the inflation and unemployment prevailing in the country, created a ruckus in the Parliament. On one hand, the Congress MPs along with the MPs of other parties are calling the security lapse the result of some big terrorist attack. On the other hand, their own leaders are calling it a result of frustration arising from unemployment.
The suspension of rowdy MPs is being termed as the murder of democracy. Whereas just a few days ago, it was decided in the all-party meeting before the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha that if any member brings a placard into the Parliament, it will be considered against the dignity of the House and the said Parliamentarian will be declared suspended.
The MPs of the Opposition party were not only protesting in the House carrying placards but many of them were present in the Well and some were even trying to reach the Speaker's door. Naturally, the action taken against him is in accordance with parliamentary procedure. Those who are propagating that this is the dictatorship of the ruling party are conveniently forgetting the fact that in 1989, when Opposition MPs created a ruckus in this Parliament over the Thakkar Commission report, 63 MPs were suspended. If the suspension action of the Rajiv Gandhi government was in accordance with the parliamentary tradition, then how is today's action dictatorial? Neither any Congressman nor the children next to him are ready to answer this question.
Now the second point is to investigate Rahul Gandhi's statement on unemployment and inflation. Is there any truth in Rahul Gandhi's claim that he is harping on unemployment every day? According to a report published in 2019 by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), a total of 6.1 crore employment opportunities were created in the country in the period of 22 years after liberalization in 1991 to 2013. During this period, 90 per cent of employment opportunities were in the unorganized sector.
Out of these 22 years, the Bharatiya Janata Party was in power only for six years and during this period the rate of economic growth and pace of employment creation was better than the 16-year rule of Congress and its allies. The pace of employment generation during the last nine years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rule is historic.
Recent research by the State Bank of India shows that the number of new account holders of Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) between 2020 and 2023 is 4.86 crore. It is natural that any employer will open the Employment Provident Fund account of his employee only if he has employed him. If 4.86 crore people get employment opportunities in the organized sector in the tenure of 3 years, then the number of people getting employment opportunities in the unorganized sector will be 9 times this. If we just look at the number of women EPFO account holders, Rahul Gandhi's false claim gets exposed.
A total of 15.94 lakh accounts in 2019-20, 13.98 lakh accounts in 2020-21, 26.19 lakh accounts in 2021-22 and 28.69 lakh accounts in 2022-23 were opened only for women. The employment figures for women alone are better than the total employment created during the Congress rule. Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister who started employment fairs for government jobs. The Prime Minister set a target of handing over 10 lakh government appointment letters through these employment fairs starting from 22 October 2022. Till now, 8 lakh government appointment letters have been distributed through employment fairs. According to Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, the target of distributing appointment letters of 10 lakh government jobs will be achieved in the next three months.
Apart from jobs, the Prime Minister has also emphasized on self-employment scheme. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana was started in 2015, under which the government provides loans up to Rs 10 lakh for micro-entrepreneurship in non-corporate and non-farm sectors with a view to generating employment. Till now, the government has sanctioned loans worth Rs 23.2 trillion to 40.82 crore people under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. Out of this, loans have been allotted to 27 crore women. Out of the total amount, half the loan has been made available to entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Castes, Tribes and backward communities.
According to statistics, 21 per cent of the people taking loans are new entrepreneurs. Even if only 21 per cent is included in the employment category for the first time under self-employment, still more than 8 crore people have got employment in the last year. In 2016, the total number of startups in this country was 450. According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the number of startups has reached above 1 lakh in 2023. Are these startups not creating any jobs?
Between 2016-17 and October 3, 2023, 111 unicorns have emerged in the country. Unicorn is a company whose valuation is more than one billion dollars. The 111 Unicorns are valued at $349.67 billion. At least 45 new unicorns emerged in 2021 with a valuation of $102 billion. In the year 2022, 22 unicorns emerged whose valuation is said to be worth $29.2 million. It is clear that employment has also been created through new industries. These authentic figures show that during Narendra Modi's rule, many times more employment has been created than during the Congress rule. Then why are Congressmen doing the misdeed of encouraging terrorist activities in the name of unemployment?
Overall, there is no substance in Congress's allegations of dictatorship nor in Rahul Gandhi's claim of dissatisfaction arising from unemployment. As far as inflation is concerned, the figures bear witness to the fact that during the 10 years of Dr Manmohan Singh's tenure, the average rate of inflation remained above 10 per cent. Whereas despite the epidemic like Corona, during the 10 years of Narendra Modi's tenure, the average inflation rate remained around 5 per cent. The message is clear that during the tenure of Congress, inflation was double as compared to the tenure of Modi. Then what is the justification for Congressmen to make noise in the name of inflation?
The author is a National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Views expressed are personal.