The Congress on Friday said the low GDP growth in the last quarter of 2019-20 was “a telling commentary” on the BJP-led government’s economic management and its misplaced priorities.

In a series of tweets, former Finance minister P. Chidambaram said the GDP numbers did not fully capture the impact of the four stages of lockdown that started on March 25 .

“We had forecast that GDP for Q4 will touch a new low at below 4 per cent. It has turned out to be worse at 3.1 per cent. Remember, this is pre-lockdown. Of the 91 days of Q4, lockdown applied only to 7 days. It is a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government,” Mr. Chidambaram tweeted.

“3.1 pc and 4.2 pc – these are not merely numbers. This is the product of BJP Govt’s failures and misplaced priorities,” the Congress party said on its official Twitter handle.

Former Union minister Jairam Ramesh alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in denial mode. “Let it sink in. Latest Q4 GDP growth is the lowest in 11 years since India was hit by the global financial crisis. Figure includes only 1 week of lockdown. Mr. Modi managed to run down Indian economy BEFORE lockdown. Expect more ‘naatakbaazi’ (drama) from its ‘ustad’ tomorrow,” he tweeted.

“If the Modi government continues to be in denial about how badly it has managed the economy, India will truly be ‘parm-atma-nirbhar’ (dependent on God),” Mr. Ramesh added.

Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said this was the lowest GDP growth rate in the last 44 quarters. He said manufacturing at minus 1.4% clearly indicated that demand had collapsed in the economy and was a cause for concern and a failure of the ‘Make in India’ program.

“Who is to be held accountable for the continuous slide in the economy since the last 4 years,” Mr. Vallabh asked and added, “We demand an explanation to the nation about the failure of the much-marketed ‘Make In India’ program. Government should come ahead and accept the failure of demonetisation and faulty implementation of GST”.

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