PM Modi’s Claims in Lok Sabha Speech Fact Checked: What We Found
Modi attacked the Congress on issues of policymaking, corruption, and dynastic politics in his 90 minute speech.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 7 February, attacked the Congress in Lok Sabha saying the country has been suffering due to the "wrong" policies the party has pursued since independence. The party has spent time singing paeans to one family instead of focusing on people's welfare, he alleged.
PM Modi took potshots at Rahul Gandhi, stating that he was crowned, not elected as Congress president.
Let us run a fact check on the Prime Minister’s 90-minute-long speech, a large chunk of which he devoted to criticising the Congress.
Claim: The North-eastern states have to develop, that's why more resources are being devoted.
Claim: The previous governments and their banking policies are responsible for the non-performing asset (NPA) mess.
Fact: NPA in banks rose due to a number of factors, including the global recession of 2008-09. Banking policies from the early 2000s, when the NDA was previously in power, also played a key role. According to an IndiaSpend investigation, commercial banks enhanced lending for long-gestation projects despite having little expertise in assessing such projects’ creditworthiness. Moreover, the share of corporate bad loans rose by 67 percent after 2010-11. Adding to the woes was the steep drop in the bad recovery of loans – 53 percent since 2013.
Claim: The Bidar-Kalburgi rail line was approved by Vajpayee government but from 2004 till 2013, nothing was done. Work only began under the BS Yeddyurappa government.
Fact: While the foundation stone for the 107-km Bidar-Kalburgi rail line was laid in 2000, the project's revised cost estimates received rail ministry's approval in 2007 on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis with the Karnataka government. Upto 2014, 91.5 percent track work was completed, as per the Karnataka economic survey 2014-15.
Claim: Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the first PM of the country, all of Kashmir would have belonged to India today.
Fact: As PM invoked the first deputy PM of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, while criticising the Congress party in the Lok Sabha for "dividing the country", experts and commentators were quick to point out that Patel was not actually eager to have Kashmir acceded into India.
Srinath Raghavan, a former army officer and an expert on the historical aspects of India’s foreign and security policies, wrote on Twitter that at one point Patel was ready to offer Kashmir to Pakistan in return for Junagadh and Hyderabad's accession to India.
Former BJP leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speechwriter Sudheendra Kulkarni also pointed out the faux pas in Modi’s Lok Sabha address. Kulkarni wrote on Twitter that Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel agreed on a ceasefire with Pakistan which led to the division of Jammu and Kashmir.
To boost his claim, Kulkarni posted highlighted excerpts from The People Next Door by former Indian diplomat TCA Raghavan.
(With inputs from Factchecker)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.