New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday conceded that there has been price rise but said poverty has declined at a much faster rate during UPA regime as compared to NDA rule.
"It is true that there has been a price rise. There is no need to cover it up, though the rates have also come down recently. But it is also true that poverty rate has also come down," party spokesperson Raj Babbar said.
Babbar, however, maintained that he is not speaking in a "political context" and did not name the BJP or the NDA. He claimed that poverty has declined during the "Congress-led UPA regime" fron 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 21.09 per cent in 2011-12.
"The report of the Commission presents a picture of 7 years of UPA vis-a-vis 11 years before that," he said citing statistics from a Planning Commission report.
Congress-led UPA had come to power in 2004 replacing the NDA government, which was in power from 1998 to 2004. Between 1996 and 1998, the country was ruled by two governments of United Front.
Before that Atal Behari Vajpayee government had lasted for 13 days the same year.
The Congress spokesperson said that in absolute numbers, this is a decline from 407.1 million to 269.3 million people even as the population of India stood at 1,210 million people..
When it was pointed out that Congress too was in power during the 11-year period (from 1993 to 2004) mentioned by him with P V Narsimha Rao as Prime Minister and Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister, Babbar said he was not looking at the issue in context of which political parties ruled when but only telling the people about UPA`s achievements on this count.
Maintaining that he was "speaking truth and only truth" as directed by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in a recent media workshop of the party, Babbar insisted that "schemes of the central government" led to decline in poverty and it happened after UPA government came to power.
He said the UPA government did not allow any lowering of its commitment of Aam Aadmi while maintaining constant growth.