BJP envious of Congress: Chidambaram


New Delhi : Home Minister P. Chidambaram, reacting to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) attack on the government over corruption, Monday said the party was envious because the Congress knows how to rule and get re-elected.

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“I feel the BJP is envious of the Congress because the Congress knows how to govern and how to be re-elected for a second time,” Chidambaram told the 83rd plenary session of the party at Burari here.

“It is the Congress party alone which can govern the country for five years, go back to the people, ask for a mandate and get re-elected,” he said.

“Look at the record of the BJP. Between 1999 and 2004, for five years, the highest growth rate delivered by the NDA government was 6.4 percent for a year. The lowest growth rate we have delivered in any year is the year in which we had an international financial crisis, and even in that year we delivered 6.7 percent,” he said.

“Their (BJP) average for five years was 5.8 percent, our average of five years is 8.5 percent,” he said.

“The BJP simply cannot come to terms with the fact that it lost the election of 2004. It cannot come to terms with the fact that it lost the elections again in 2009 while the Congress gained seats. It cannot come to terms with the fact that the Congress is ‘electable’ again and again,” Chidambaram added.

The home minister also emphasised inclusive development to ensure that India becomes the world’s largest economy.

“The bottom 20-30 percent do not have the full opportunity to contribute to the country and the country remains relatively poor,” he said, adding that inclusion of this population in the political and economic system would result in India becoming the world’s largest economy.

“Twenty years from now … it is within our power to become the first and the largest economy,” Chidambaram said.