Charging at the government over the resignation of two members of the National Statistical Commission, the Congress Wednesday accused the Modi government of destroying yet another institution and said due to the government's "malicious negligence" one more venerable institution has “died”.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram said the party mourns the death of the National Statistical Commission and will remember its valiant fight to release 'untainted' GDP data and employment data.
His colleague Ahmed Patel said the resignations serve the government’s objective to "black out" all data and statistics of its "mis-governance", while party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi wondered if this has come in the wake of the "very embarrassing" jobs data and whether the NSC was "being forced" by government to do more data doctoring.
The attack on the government came in the wake of two independent members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) -- P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi -- resigning on Monday over disagreement with the government on certain issues. Mohanan was also acting as the commission chairperson.
"One more venerable institution died on 29 January, 2019 owing to malicious negligence by the government," Chidambaram tweeted.
We mourn the death of the National Statistical Commission and remember with gratitude its valiant fight to release untainted GDP data and employment data.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 30, 2019
"We mourn the death of the National Statistical Commission and remember with gratitude its valiant fight to release untainted GDP data and employment data. May the NSC rest in peace until it is re-born again," he said in another tweet.
Patel said the resignation of all non government members from the NSC has rendered yet another public institution "defunct and toothless".
"It also serves the government’s larger objective to black out all data and statistics of its mis-governance since last 5 years," he said.
"Government must immediately release the unemployment report which it is trying to withhold. The report and the Commission which prepares such reports belong to the people of India and not to any political party. Government has no business to sit on it because the findings don’t suit them," Patel tweeted.
Government must immediately release the unemployment report which it is trying to withhold— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) January 30, 2019
The report & the Commission which prepares such reports belong to the people of India & not to any political party
Govt has no business to sit on it because the findings don’t suit them
Singhvi also said statisticians have quit the government over differences in "job data in actuality and being projected by government in the election season".
"Modinomics is all about ModiStats," he charged.
"Another venerable institution national statistical commission victim of BJP Modi achievement of destroying institutions. Was it because jobs data very embarrassing, hence national sample survey report withheld by government as stated by resigning chairman? Or was NSC being forced by government to do more data doctoring," he said on Twitter.
"NSC joins distinguished institutions led to wreck and ruin by Modi BJP: RBI, CBI, CVC, CBDT, ED, IT. Self respecting professionals cannot stand this government's pressure nor attempts to doctor data. But pliable bureaucrats can be used for vendetta politics. Latter should learn from former," he tweeted.
With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members -- Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
In November last year, the NITI Aayog had come under fire for announcing the revised GDP data of UPA years.
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Chief Statistician Srivastava had announced the back-series data by the government.