New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “trying stop the truth” about his “criminal failure” on employment from becoming public after over 100 economists and social scientists expressed concerns over “political interference” in statistical data in the country.
Gandhi’s attack came a day after 108 economists and social scientists Thursday called for restoration of “institutional independence” and integrity of statistical organisations. “NoMo trying to stop the truth about his criminal failure on employment from becoming public,” Gandhi tweeted, tagging a media report on the appeal made by the economists and social scientists. The appeal came against the backdrop of controversy over revision of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding employment data by the NSSO.
Earlier in the day, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hit out at the Modi government over the issue. “Nobody has hurt India’s global reputation & credibility more than Modi government. 108 global economists and social scientists are concerned and you should be too!” he said in a tweet.
Surjewala urged people to vote out a party which, he alleged, “hides its massive failures by statistical jugglery and excel sheet management!” The economists and social scientists appealed to all professional economists, statisticians and independent researchers to come together to raise their voice against the tendency “to suppress uncomfortable data” and impress upon the government to restore access and integrity to public statistics and re-establish institutional independence.
The signatories include Rakesh Basant (IIM-A), James Boyce (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, US), Emily Breza (Harvard University, US), Satish Deshpande (Delhi University), Patrick Francois (University of British Columbia, Canada), R Ramakumar (TISS, Mumbai), Hema Swaminathan (IIM-B) and Rohit Azad (JNU).