'Fuhrer', 'Mussolini': Rahul Gandhi, BJP spar over jobs report

Congress president Rahul Gandhi recently announced that his party would implement a minimum income guarantee scheme for every poor if his party comes to power at the Centre. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 31, 2019, 04.48 PM (IST)

The BJP and Congress president Rahul Gandhi engaged in a war of words on Twitter today over a report on country's unemployment rate. The report published in a newspaper on Thursday said that the official survey that has been withheld by the government shows India's unemployment rate rose to a 45-year high during 2017-2018.

The assessment by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) conducted between July 2017-June 2018 showed the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 per cent, the highest since 1972-73, the newspaper reported. The report further said that joblessness stood at 7.8 per cent in urban areas compared with 5.3 parts in the countryside.

The government has so far not confirmed or denied the report.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi drew the first blood with a tweet attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "NoMo Jobs! The Fuhrer promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster. Unemployment is at its highest in 45 yrs. 6.5 Cr youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone. Time for NoMo2Go," Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

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Hitting back, the BJP on Thursday alleged that Congress president has a myopic understanding of issues and said only someone who has never held a proper job "can peddle such fake news".

The BJP tweeted that Rahul Gandhi had inherited shortsightedness of Mussolini, the Italian dictator.

"It's clear that he has inherited Mussolini's shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues. EPFO's real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months. Only a man who hasn't ever held a proper job and is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews!" the party said in a tweet from its official handle.

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Two independent members of the National Statistical Commission quit on Wednesday over non-release of job figures. Stating that the National Statistical Commission (NSC) had recommended to release the employment report in January 2019, P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi said the members were sidelined and were "unable to discharge" duties.

The government, however, said the two had not expressed any concern in panel meetings. "These concerns were not expressed by the members in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months," Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) said in a statement on Wednesday. The ministry, it further added, values the advice of NSC and takes appropriate action.