BJP Under Modi Not Unbeatable, Economy In 2019 Will Be Decisive Factor: Chidambaram

| December 24 , 2017 , 12:57 IST

Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram in a series of tweets on Sunday said that the BJP party, which is considered to be making a 'saffron' wave across the nation, is not unbeatable under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as people have claimed. He added that the state of the economy will be the decisive factor in upcoming elections.

Considering the massive success BJP has secured in state assembly elections after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, the success of the party was often connected with the leadership of Modi.

Referring to Congress President Rahul Gandhi who campaigned aggressively in Gujarat ahead of the elections, Chidambaram tweeted, "The BJP limped across the finish line with a young and energised sprinter close on its heels."

He continued, "Both the BJP and the Congress were winners: the BJP scored an electoral victory, the Congress scored a political victory."

Citing the non-BJP governments in Delhi and Bihar, Chidambaram tweeted that "a strong narrative and a carefully-crafted strategy" can defeat the BJP again.

"The BJP under the leadership of Mr Narendra Modi is not unbeatable. Delhi and Bihar were not flashes in the pan or flukes. A strong narrative and a carefully-crafted strategy can defeat the BJP," Chidambaram said.

"In Gujarat, the critical factor was not caste but mobilisation. Such mobilisation can take place around other factors as well — joblessness or farmers’ distress or growing inequality or religion," he added.

"Mr Narendra Modi has to deliver on his promises — growth, jobs, doubling farm income, and sabka saath, sabka vikas. The first three years of his government have returned an average growth rate of 7.5 per cent (under the new methodology)," said the former finance minister.

"Ultimately, it is the state of the economy in 2018-19 that will be the decisive factor in the elections over the next 16 months, including the Lok Sabha election. In ‘economy’, the critical factor will be ‘jobs’" he said.

"The Prime Minister referred to the MUDRA scheme and said “over 31 million loans have been sanctioned to entrepreneurs…Even if we assume conservatively that, on average, each enterprise creates just one sustainable job, this initiative itself amounts to 31 million new jobs,” he added.

"MUDRA loans are simply an aggregate of loans given by public sector banks and regional rural banks — what they have been doing for many years. As on July 28, 2017, 8.56 crore loans were sanctioned. The total amount was Rs 3.69 lakh crore. The average loan size was Rs 43,000!" Chidambaram said.

We are asked to believe that a loan of Rs 43,000 will create an additional job! If the ‘new’ worker is paid less-than-minimum wage of Rs 5,000 a month, the loan will evaporate in eight months! Can an investment of Rs 43,000 generate additional income of Rs 5,000 per month?