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Govt records contradict Prime Minister Modi’s claims made in London

Friday April 20, 2018 11:54 AM, News Network

Modi Central Hall London

Mumbai: Many of the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath programme at the Central Hall Westminster in London on Wednesday are contradictory to records compiled by his own government, a fact checking report said.

While participating in the program Prime Minister Modi claimed “almost total electrification” of about 18,000 villages saying, “The target to electrify 18,000 villages is almost complete. Perhaps 150 to 175 villages are left now. The work is in progress.”

However, according to Saubhagya data, 12.2 per cent or 44.87 lakh households have been electrified while 3.23 crore households remain to be electrified. Country's most populous state Uttar Pradesh has about 45 per cent households yet to be electrified, India Today reported Thursday.

During the program, Modi also claimed that his government is building about 03 times more roads than what was being constructed earlier. “Today the volume of work that is being done every day is three times of what was done previously”, he claimed.

However citing the data available with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India Today reported that the daily highway construction was about 13 km between 2011-12 and 2013-14 (three years). In comparison, average daily highway construction during the first three years of the Modi government (2014-15 to 2016-17) was 17 km.

Modi also goofed up while claiming that even the world's most developed nations are not so generous with maternity leave as his government in India. “People in the UK will be happy to know that keeping in mind the health of a new-born child and the mother, maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks”, he claimed.

India Today fact checking report however found that women are entitled to statutory maternity leave for 52 weeks in UK, of these first 26 weeks are ordinary maternity leave and the rest are additional maternity leave. The statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid for 39 weeks--one gets 90 per cent of average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first six weeks, and 90 per cent of average weekly earnings or £145.18 (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.

Government records also contradicted Modi’s claim of constructing six crore toilets. “In February this year, Union Minister for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav said that a total of six crore toilets had been built in the past four years”, Modi claimed during the program.

India Today report contradicted the claim citing Swachh Bharat Mission website which says that 82.38 per cent households have toilets. According to a WaterAid report last year, India has the highest number of people, 732 million, without access to toilets.

Interestingly, in speech after speech, and program after program, Prime Minister Modi is making claims that are immediately countered and refuted by opposition parties as well ass independent sources. Recently, while addressing a program in Bihar, Modi had claimed building 850,000 toilets in a week. The claim was however questioned by a number of people. A report by BBC had in fact quoted the CEO and Mission Director of Bihar’s ‘Lohia Swachh Bihar Abhiyan’ Balamurugan D as saying that the toilets were actually built over a period of four weeks. And this was preceded by preparatory work over the previous one and a half years.

Narendra Modi is accused of making false claims and magnifying his achievements ever since he was chief minister of Gujarat. Opposition parties and independent agencies have refuted many of his claims made regarding his development work in Gujarat and even mocked his “Gujarat development model” on which he actually had built his campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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