Economy in coma, says Congress as GDP growth falls to 4.5%

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 30, 2019 13:44 hrs
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi (AP photo)

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday slammed the government after India's GDP growth rate went down to 4.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2019-20 saying that the economy has been pushed in "coma" by the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and they owe an explanation to the nation.

Mocking the BJP over the decline in GDP numbers, it said that GDP for BJP means "Godse Divisive Politics", in a reference to Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur's remarks on Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse in the Lok Sabha this week.

Speaking to reporters, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "Finance Minister's statement that there is a severe decline in economy on all fronts, but, there is no economic recession is like saying, patient has been saved, but, the patient is in unending coma.

"Economy has been pushed in a coma by the BJP, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. They owe an explanation to the nation, whether GDP for them, means Gross Domestic Product or for them it means 'Godse Divisive Politics', for everything cannot be settled by dividing the people of India," he said.

Surjewala was referring to the recent remarks by Thakur, who is one of the accused in the Malegaon blast case, during a debate in Lok Sabha on Special Protection Group (SPG) (Amendment) Act. Her remarks was later expunged by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Congress's jibe aimed at the BJP came after Thakur criticised former Congress President Rahul Gandhi for calling her a terrorist.

He said the GDP growth has now plunged to a historic low of 4.5 per cent in quarter two. "This is worse than the previous quarter of 5 per cent and is the worst in last six years."

Surjewala noted that average GDP growth rate during 10 years of Congress-led UPA government was 8.13 per cent.

"Even in the last year of UPA i.e 2013-14, GDP growth rate was 6.39 per cent. Let the nation compare it with the BJP government's estimation of economy emanating from bankruptcy of economic vision," he said.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also described the GDP's sharp decline as "worrisome", and expressed hope that the latest figures would wake the government from its slumber.