Statistics manipulated to distort facts: Sitaram Yechury attacks PM Modi
Kolkata, Dec 23: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Sunday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was resorting to manipulation of statistics to paint a rosy picture of his government's achievements.
Yechury called PM Modi's announcement that 99 per cent goods will now attract 18 per cent or lower GST a "post truth", since 97 per cent of merchandise or services already attract 18 per cent or less GST.
"The method adopted by Modi surpasses Goebells," he said, drawing a parallel with Hitler's Propaganda Minister during the Nazi rule in Germany.
"Statistics are manipulated to distort facts," Yechury said, speaking at a seminar on Karl Marx's 200th birth anniversary celebrations, organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kolkata.
He also claimed that the prime minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were resorting to such manipulation to suit their interest and paint a rosy picture of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's achievements, when the ground reality was otherwise.
PM Modi had on Tuesday said in Mumbai, "Today, the GST system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position where 99 per cent items will attract the sub-18 per cent GST slab."
The GST Council on Saturday reduced tax rates on 23 goods and services, including movie tickets, TV and monitor screens and power banks, and exempted frozen and preserved vegetables from the levy.
With this cut, only 28 goods are now left in the highest 28-per cent tax bracket.
Yechury said in order to divert and dilute protests growing against the government over "miseries of people, the ruling BJP and similar other organisations are resorting to sharpening of communal polarisation."
Likening PM Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah with characters from the Mahabharata, the former Rajya Sabha member said, "Of the 100 Kauravas, we know the names of Duryodhan and Dushashan, just as in the BJP, we know of Modi and Shah."
"The Kauravas said how can five Pandavas defeat 100 of them, but eventually that happened; likewise the BJP claims to be invincible, but the state polls have shown they can be defeated," Yechury said.
He said the government's move to authorise 10 Central agencies to intercept any information on computers was an indication that the country was moving "towards a police state."
Alleging that the Centre wants to gag dissenting voice, he said people talking against the government are termed 'urban Naxalites'.
Yechury also criticised the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for taking different stands in West Bengal and at the national level on upholding democratic rights.
He said that West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was "murdering democracy in Bengal and speaking of upholding it in the rest of the country."
The CPI(M) politburo member said in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, one has to be clear who are the real allies in the fight against the BJP.