Countering the government’s ‘White Paper’ the Congress on Thursday released a critique on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decade-long rule, titled ‘Black Paper’ that asserted that the present regime has “devastated the country’s economy, aggravated unemployment”, and “destroyed the agricultural sector”.

The Congress also alleged that the NDA regime “abetted crimes against women and committed grave injustice against minorities in the country”.

Black tilak

Responding to the Congress accusation that his tenure has been a period of injustice, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I thank Khargeji for this. The black tilak will ward off the evil as country is very happy with unprecedented growth in last 10 years. The past ten years have seen India ascend to new heights, with the country experiencing a period of unprecedented prosperity”.

The Congress said the NDA regime has given highest unemployment rate in 45 years. The total unemployment was 1 crore in 2012 but rose to about 4 crore in 2022 even though Modi promised 2 crore jobs annually, it said. Ten lakh sanctioned Central government posts remain un-filled and the unemployment rate for graduates is about 33 per cent — one in three are looking unsuccessfully for a job — the Congress stated in its document.

Wage growth

It also said that India’s workers have experienced a lost decade, with stagnant real wages. Wages growth has been less than 1 per cent per year for all rural workers and salaried workers now earn less, was the observation of the Congress.

The opposition party stated the prices of essential commodities are at all time highs. It said that the prices of commodities, if compared before and after 2014, rose by 120 per cent in case of LPG, 71 per cent in milk, 37 per cent in petrol, 64 per cent in diesel, 59 per cent in mustard oil and 59 per cent in atta.

On agriculture sector, the Black Paper said famers were promised a doubling of their income but instead they received pathetic MSP increases and the three farm laws were rail-roaded through parliament to enrich the PM’s corporate cronies. While 700 farmers died protesting against these black laws, Insurance companies under the PM Fasal Bima Yojna have made a profit of ₹40,000 crore, the Congress alleged.