Congress Party senior leader P Chidambaram addresses the press conference at AICC HQ in New Delhi on Thursday.
Congress Party senior leader P Chidambaram addresses the press conference at AICC HQ in New Delhi on Thursday.
ANI Photo

Senior Congress leader and former union finance minister, P Chidambaram, on Friday hit out at the Central and Jharkhand governments over the state of the economy saying that they were in incompetent hands.

Referring to RBI lowering the growth projections, the Congress leader stressed that India's economy is in "deep" trouble, and said, "India's economy is in incompetent hands and Jharkhand's economy is in even more incompetent hands." Terming the Assembly election in Jharkhand as an "important turning point in the ongoing struggle between the BJP on one side and "secular, progressive parties" on the other," the Congress leader accused the BJP of not being committed to the Constitution.

"This election is about electing the state government. I appeal to the people of Jharkhand to remain focussed on who these 81 people will be. It is of no relevance to this election -- what is happening in Kerala, what is happening in Assam or Meghalaya," he said while addressing a press conference here.

The Congress leader cited several data regarding per capita income, unemployment, and growth rate to buttress his claim that in the last five years, the state has slid backward.

"Jharkhand's growth rate is good two per cent below the national average. Jharkhand has third-lowest per capita income in the country. Unemployment in Jharkhand is fourth highest in the country," he said.

Taking a jibe at the BJP's claim of "double engine growth", he said, "I know that Prime Minister comes here and says double engine growth...Double engine growth is good if the two engines are pulling in the same direction but if they are pulling the opposite direction, this is what will happen." The Congress leader, referring to a number of promises made by the party in its manifesto, said, "What you need here is a government which understands what needs to be done in Jharkhand, what can be done and in what time it can be implemented."

Promising that the Congress together with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha will provide a "competent government" for five years, he said, "We don't want these high sounding governments. We don't want the minister to come and tell you that I don't eat onions. Our ministers will never say that." Referring to recent political developments in Haryana and Maharashtra, he said, "In Haryana, we dented the BJP. In Maharashtra, we dented the BJP. In Jharkhand, we must defeat the BJP."

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