New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the Black Paper, released by Congress to highlight the performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the last 10-year rule, is a 'Kaala Teeka' for him since everything is going so well in the country.
The Prime Minister's remarks came while he was giving farewell to the retiring members of the Rajya Sabha, including his predecessor Manmohan Singh.
"When a child gets ready for some good occasion by wearing some nice clothes, then a family member says to go after applying a Kaala Teeka, to ward off an evil eye. Today, as the country is touching new heights of prosperity over the last ten years, an attempt has been made today to put a Kaala Teeka, so that no one can cast an evil eye on it. I thank Kharge Ji a lot for (bringing a Black Paper)," PM Modi said.
Earlier in the day, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge released the 'Black Paper' highlighting the alleged 'failures' during the 10-year rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre.
The Black Paper comes even as the central government is ready to present a 'White Paper', to show that the country had plunged into the "fragile five" economies of the world during the 10-year of the previous Congress-led UPA regime (2004-14).
While releasing the Black Paper, Kharge said that it contains details about the failures of the BJP government including unemployment.
"We are releasing a Black Paper against the government because the government always glorifies itself in Parliament and hides its failures. And when we say something about their failure, we are not given a chance, so today we are bringing out the Black Paper here. It contains details about unemployment, which the BJP government never discusses," the Congress chief said in a press briefing.
Referring to PM Modi's 90-minute reply to the Motion of Thanks on President's Address in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Kharge said, "He (PM Modi) didn't mention the employment generated by the public sectors like HAL, BHEL which were established during Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's tenure."
Kharge alleged that the Centre is discriminating against all the non-BJP ruled states and neglecting them.
"There is a danger to democracy in the country...In last 10 years, 411 MLAs were taken on their by the BJP. They toppled so many Congress governments. They are finishing democracy," the Congress president said, sharpening his attacks against the Centre further.
Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, while speaking to reporters ahead of the commencement of the seventh day of Parliament said that a discussion on the White Paper is scheduled to be held in Lok Sabha today.
"When our Finance Minister presented the Interim Budget, she mentioned the White Paper. It is necessary to inform about the kind of economic situation they (Congress) had left for the country in 2014," Meghwal said.
The government had announced in the union budget presented on February 1 that it will come out with 'White Paper' to compare the economic performance of 10 years of the Congress-led UPA government with that of 10 years of the BJP-led NDA government.
Tabling the interim budget 2024-25 in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Modi government, which assumed office in 2014, overcame crisis of those years and the economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path,
"In 2014 when our Government assumed the reins, the responsibility to mend the economy step by step and to put the governance systems in order was enormous. The need of the hour was to give hope to the people, to attract investments, and to build support for the much-needed reforms. The government did that successfully following our strong belief of 'nation-first'," she said.
"The crisis of those years has been overcome, and the economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path with all-round development."
She announced that the Government will lay a White Paper on the table of the House "to look at where we were then till 2014 and where we are now, only for the purpose of drawing lessons from the mismanagement of those years".
"The exemplary track record of governance, development and performance, effective delivery, and 'Jan Kalyan' has given the government trust, confidence and blessings of the people to realize, whatever it takes, the goal of 'Viksit Bharat' with good intentions, true dedication and hard work in the coming years and decades," she said.
The budget session, which is the last Parliament session before Lok Sabha polls expected in April-May this year, was slated to conclude on February 10.