New Delhi: BJP on Monday countered P Chidambaram`s attack on its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on growth figures during NDA and UPA regimes, alleging that the finance minister is indulging in "statistical jugglery" about his government`s achievements.
Chidambaram`s charge of Modi staging a "fake encounter with facts" regarding his claims of economic growth during BJP-led NDA being 8.4 per cent was challenged by Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad who said the Finance Minister`s contention is a "glaring example of resorting to fake encounters with facts".
"Chidambaram is not only factually incorrect but is also being economical with the truth," he said.
BJP maintained that they when the NDA came to power in 1998 the growth rate was 4.8 per cent but when it demitted office it was 8.5 per cent. The party also cited the Economic Survey of 2004-05 to argue that Chidambaram himself acknowledged this.
"... The economy has registered a growth rate of 8.5 per cent in 2003-04, the highest ever except in 1975-76 and 1988-89," Prasad said, quoting from the Economic Survey.
The main Opposition claimed that this rate of growth was achieved by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government despite "extreme adversity".
"It is well known that there was international sanction by nearly all the country of the world in the wake of Pokhran II nuclear explosion. There was a Kargil War, the explosive East Asian crisis in the year 1999-2000, the massive earthquake in Gujarat, the serious drought in 2001-02 and other natural crisis," Prasad said.
BJP rued that though UPA government inherited such a robust economy it has brought down growth to 4.8 per cent.
Former Finance Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha alleged that Chidambaram is indulging in "statistical jugglery" by comparing the average growth during NDA and UPA rule since 2004 as it cannot compete on year-to-year basis with the NDA regime.
"They are comparing nine years average with five years average of NDA," Sinha said, adding that Chidambaram is "doing terrorism with facts".