MUMBAI, Oct 19:Union minister Prakash Javadekar
said here on Saturday that an “atmosphere” of economic
slowdown prevails world over, but India is still the “fastest
Speaking ahead of October 21 Maharashtra Assembly
polls, Javadekar also said that the BJP was banking on the
government’s performance, while the opposition is bereft of
issues and frustrated.
The BJP-led NDA alliance will win 222 of the 288
Assembly seats in Maharashtra, he claimed. “Several of
opposition’s candidates have conceded defeat, stopped
campaigning and also stopped spending money,” he added.
Asked why the BJP’s campaign focused more on issues of
nationalism at a time of economic slowdown, Javadekar said the
“atmosphere” of slowdown prevails world over.
“China has seen its growth rate fall from 11 per cent
to 6 per cent. Such atmosphere prevails in Europe and US too.
India’s economy is still the fastest developing in the world.
This is a fact,” he added.
To another question, he said banks in the country have
not closed down, and depositors should not worry.
“Employment is continuously increasing…yes, there
were problems in manufacturing and exports sectors. Problems
surface in some sectors, but measures are taken immediately.
This is a government which takes decisions, not one which sits
idle,” he said.
About former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s statement
that the Narendra Modi government’s target of making India a
USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 looks unfeasible, the minister
said India reported average growth rate of more than 7 per
cent “in the past seven years”.
“This is the achievement of last five years. Secondly,
it may be the Congress’s thinking that you won’t do well next
year because you haven’t done well now, we don’t think so. We
do not agree with Manmohan Singh,” Javadekar said.
The economy’s performance was “disappointing” when
Singh was prime minister, he said, adding that Singh as PM was
not as effective as when he was finance minister.
“Decisions are being taken. The investment withdrawing
from China will come to India in a big way due to new
decisions. You will see what a big change this brings,” he
On the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data
suggesting a record plunge in employment rate, Javadekar said
NSSO’s data collection system was 70 years old and needed
“NSSO doesn’t map all the jobs. For example, someone
supplies newspapers, isn’t he earning honestly? Isn’t it a
job? But it is not mapped…I am not rejecting NSSO report,
but telling you about the limitations and the need for
improvement,” he added.
To a question, Javadekar said among the factors
driving farmers to suicide was lack of assured water supply,
and the Maharashtra government has launched several irrigation
works “unlike the previous Congress-NCP regime which only ate
up Rs 70,000 crore, but did no work”.
The BJP leader also claimed that his party does not
interfere in the functioning of probe agencies such as the
Enforcement Directorate, which registered a money laundering
case against NCP chief Sharad Pawar last month.
“(Chief Minister) Devendra Fadnavis provided good
leadership. There was not a single charge (against the
government)….There is a sense of stability…We will get
more than 222 seats,” he said.
BJP leaders held a total of 312 campaign rallies in
Maharashtra, Javadekar said, including nine by Modi and 18 by
BJP chief Amit Shah. (PTI)