Sunday, March 03, 2013

Not Hindu, but Nehruvian, rate of growth in '50s and '60s, says Jaitley

New Delhi: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was the last speaker on the first day of party's two-day national council meeting here on Saturday, and turned the tables against some of his party colleagues as well as against the Congress. He spoke on the economic resolution which was passed unanimously. Jaitley said that he does not accept the Western labelling of the slow growth of 3.5 per cent of the Indian economy in the 1950s and 1960s as the Hindu rate of growth and he told party members that the BJP should not accept that term. He said that the slow growth in those two decades was the result of Nehru's wrong socialist planning and it should be rightly called the Nehru rate of growth. There is an interesting debate on in the BJP over agriculture-based and industry-based economy. Party president Rajnath Singh in his presidential address in the morning promised that the BJP will make India an economic superpower based on vibrant and prosperous agricultural sector. Jaitley put forward the alternative idea that if India were to become a strong economy, many people will have to be shifted out of agriculture and those people will have to be absorbed in the manufacturing and service sectors. Underlining the importance of the economic resolution, Jaitley told the party workers that economics will be an important part of the political agenda of future and that the party will have to grasp the issues involved. It was an interesting and healthy open debate in the main opposition party which is gearing itself to fight the 2014 Lok Sabha poll and dislodge the decade old Congress-led UPA government.

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