Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Monday roasted the ruling BJP government over its alleged failure to revive the country's economy, accusing its leaders of "betraying" the very ideals of transparency and good governance that they once claimed to champion.
"You have betrayed your mandate. You have broken your promise of putting the economy first and democracy first... If we are really in a crisis, the government is doing this country a huge disservice by trying to suppress data," she said during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in parliament.
Ms Moitra, who represents West Bengal's Krishnanagar in the Lok Sabha, claimed that this was just one of the many betrayals dealt by the BJP government to the Indian people.
"You have betrayed the young voter who was eagerly looking forward to his new job. You betrayed the small businessman by your foolish decision of demonetisation, killing his market for no fathomable reason. You betrayed thousands of tribal people in Gujarat, whose land you took to build a statue. You have also questioned the citizenship of the very citizens who voted you to power," she said, referring to the amended citizenship law brought by the government.
The Trinamool MP claimed that the centre was guilty not only of single-handedly bringing down the economy but also trying to fudge or suppress data it deems inconvenient. "The archaic jugglery this government practices, where the Finance Minister is fearful of putting out a real GDP target. The Finance Minister says on the floor of the house that the nominal GDP target is 10 per cent. In December, the consumer price index was at 6.7 per cent. Does that mean that the real GDP today is 3.3 per cent?" she said, reminding the centre that "little else remains when there is no integrity in statistics".
Ms Moitra sought to remind BJP leaders that they "did not come to power on the vote of the Hindu right alone". "You came to power because a very large section of ordinary people - the aspirational middle-of-the-road voters - cast aside whatever reservations they may have had and believed it when you said sabka saath, sabka vikas. It is to these voters that you owe your historic mandate to, and it is these voters that you betray today," she said.
India's GDP growth had hit an over six-year low of 4.5 per cent in July-September 2019, dragged mainly by deceleration in manufacturing output and subdued farm sector activity. This was the lowest since January-March 2012-13, when growth was recorded at 4.3 per cent.