New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday said his party will spell out clearly the roadmap on how to create jobs in the country.
"Wait for our manifesto. We will tell you how we are going to create jobs," Chidambaram said in response to a query during the release of his book "Undaunted - Saving the idea of India".
He slammed the Narendra Modi government for suppressing the data on the jobs as also on the ouster of successive RBI Governors Raghuram Rajan and Urijit Patel, saying both left in "utter frustration and disgust".
In his opening remarks, Chidambaram said that what was happening "to India" could be irreparable if it was not stopped now.
"Let alone what is happening in India, I am concerned about what is happening to India. Fear is dominating the country and institutions are being compromised," he said.
On the question of EVMs, he said that political parties trust the assurances given by the Chief Election Commissioners on the credibility of EVMs but at least 50 per cent VVPAT slips should be counted in each booth "to be doubly sure".
"The EC has not answered it clearly as to why not 50 per cent paper slip counting, why just 5 per cent? If the excuse is that it would delay the result, so what if result is delayed?" he said.
Defending his party's "equivocal" position on the Sabarimala issue he said that it was such a matter on which the other side's point of view could not be ignored.
"As far as Sabarimala is concerned, do you have a clear cut answer? At least I don't. I am not a very religious person. I swear by Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution. But are these issues amenable to a judicial solution?" he said.
"I personally support the Supreme Court judgement. But millions of people, including Congress workers, think that that judgement was over the top. And that it should be left to Devasam Board, the tantris and the customs. Now, who am I to tell them that they are wrong?
They will turn around and say ayou are wrong'.
"How can I stop ordinary men and women from expressing their views? Within a family there can be views, within a community there can be views, within a village there can be views. This is not an issue on which you and I can take such a categorical position that no other view is acceptable," he said.
The Supreme Court has allowed the entry of women of all ages in the Sabarimala temple. As per the custom, women of menstrual age were not allowed inside the temple.
Asked if this was not exactly the position of the Hindutva groups on Ayodhya Ram temple issue, the senior Congress leader said the two issues were different.
"Ayodhya is not an issue of custom, it's an issue of faith. Don't mix up custom with faith. In Sabarimala it is custom opposed to modern constitutional values. In Ayodhya, we are talking about the birthplace of somebody, centuries ago. Because of that faith, a group is claiming the land.
"The other group says a mosque has existed there for several hundreds of years. So the question that Supreme Court will resolve is framed by the Allahabad High Court," he said.