Soon after a report which says that the country's unemployment rate was at a 45-year-high in 2017-18 went viral, #HowstheJobs was among the top trends on Twitter. The hashtag is a spin on the immensely popular "How's the Josh" catchphrase from Vicky Kaushal-starrer Uri: The Surgical Strike.
The dialogue has been used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and other BJP leaders amid loud cheers.
According to the National Sample Survey Office's (NSSO's) periodic labour force survey (PLFS), which has been accessed by the Business Standard newspaper, the country's unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, the highest since 1972-73.
The report was not released despite being vetted by the National Statistical Commission in December, allege its two non-independent members who quit on Tuesday.
PM Modi's job creation report card revealed a "national disaster", tweeted Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
NoMo Jobs!- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 31, 2019
The Fuhrer promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster.
Unemployment is at its highest in 45 yrs.
6.5 Cr youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone.
Time for NoMo2Go. #HowsTheJobspic.twitter.com/nbX4iYmsiZ
"The youth of India have one question for you Modiji, #HowsTheJobs?" asked the Congress' official handle.
Divya Spandana, social media head of the Congress, who hops from one controversy to another as she attacks PM Modi, tweeted:
The BJP reacted to Mr Gandhi's tweet with claims that there has been a "sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months".
It's clear that he has inherited Mussolini's shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues.- BJP (@BJP4India) January 31, 2019
EPFO's real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months.
Only a man who hasn't ever held a proper job & is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews! https://t.co/T0DHUs7IdZ
But the BJP's clarification did little to stop a barrage of jibes and attacks from opposition leaders.
Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi used the hashtag to mock those who have been popularising "How's the josh?". "'How's the josh?' nahin, how're the jobs?" he asked.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also picked up PM Modi's "vanakkam" remark in Pondicherry to attack the centre over the worrying unemployment rate.
"Chaliye berozgari ko vanakkam. On a serious note, this is quite worrying," Ms Mufti tweeted.
"The BJP, which has been giving false employment figures to the country, stands exposed. Now the unemployed youth will ensure the BJP is jobless after the election," tweeted Akhilesh Yadav in Hindi.
Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused the Prime Minister of "cleaning all the statistics and reports that expose his lack of vision and inefficiency".
He added that the efforts since independence to ensure sufficient jobs have been "undone in just two ill-conceived policies - demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST)".
Mr. Clean intent @narendramodi is cleaning all the the statistics & reports that exposes his lack of vision & inefficiencies. The efforts since independence to ensure sufficient jobs was undone in just two ill-conceived policies - #Demonetisation & #GST.#HowsTheJobspic.twitter.com/wYMdFfB6G1- Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) January 31, 2019
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