New Delhi : As a strategic decision, the Congress has asked party leaders to counter every fact and figure stated by Narendra Modi in order to call it bluffs of the bluff master. The party has also added a new chapter called ‘Fact check’ on its website to trash Modi’s claims on economic, political and historical issues.

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday challenged Modi for reeling out fictitious figures of high foreign investments in Gujarat, misleading the nation on the FDI in retail and bogus claim of a ‘vision’ of things already done.

Sharma taunted Modi for making tall claims of investments during the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summits that surpass even the total FDI in the country. He touted the RBI figures as facts versus Modi’s fiction. They show that the highest investments of $65 bn came to Maharashtra, followed by Delhi ($38 bn), Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which Gujarat finished fifth with $9 bn. Sharma also accused Modi of misleading statements on the issue of FDI in retail by telling the kirana shopkeepers not to be frightened by the foreign companies setting their shops in India while his BJP continuing to vow to reverse the FDI decision of the UPA government. If Modi is honest in seeing the economic future of the country, he should see that the BJP promises in its manifesto to support FDI in retail “with an apology in the preamble as it opposed the same when our Government did it,” Sharma said.

Sharma questioned the Gujarat CM’s silence on Rajasthan government’s letter to the Centre withdrawing its consent to FDI in retail. “Rajasthan cannot change the stand now after the policy has been notified; India is not a banana republic where change of governments will alter sovereign commitments”, Sharma added.

Notwithstanding Modi’s public posturing, the BJP has not embraced the FDI as its senior leader Arun Jaitley went on record after his remarks to rule out the possibility of a turnaround. If the BJP changes its stance now to suit Modi’s expediency, it will cut a sorry figure among the voters, Sharma said. If Modi is such a reformer, why he led the opposition-ruled states to stop the game-changer Goods and Services Tax (GST) that he now vows to implement, Sharma asked.

He also criticised the economic vision Modi unfolded recently, pointing out that he was only promising what has been already done. “This is no vision. It’s political plagiarism, Mr Modi,” Sharma said.

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