In a countermove to the Narendra Modi government’s “white paper” on its 10-year performance, the Congress, led by Mallikarjun Kharge, has presented a contrasting “black paper” titled ’10 Saal Anyay Kaal.’
The release, which took place during a press conference in Delhi, sheds light on the government’s perceived failures in addressing issues such as unemployment, inflation, and farmers’ distress.
As the main opposition party in India, the Congress aims to rekindle its influence, especially with the general elections on the horizon. Last year, the party formed the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc to challenge the ruling BJP. With the BJP expressing confidence in winning again, the political landscape is heating up.
During the press conference, Kharge criticized the government’s alleged lack of transparency regarding job creation and raised concerns about the distribution of MGNREGA funds, citing discrimination against non-BJP states like Kerala, Karnataka, and Telangana. Accusing the BJP of undermining democracy, Kharge highlighted the BJP’s involvement in toppling Congress governments over the past decade.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the government’s “white paper” in both Houses of Parliament. The objective, as stated during her Interim Budget Speech, is to reflect on the economic conditions leading up to 2014 and draw lessons from the mismanagement of those years. The extension of the budget session could provide an opportunity to table the report.
BJP leader Jayant Sinha anticipates that the government’s “white paper” will focus on India’s economic challenges during the UPA government’s tenure and how the BJP administration successfully navigated these issues. Sinha pointed out that in 2013, India was among the “fragile five” economies globally, with GDP growth at 5%, inflation at 10%, and banks’ NPAs at 10%. The white paper aims to detail the Modi government’s strategies for addressing these challenges.
Understanding the context, it’s crucial to note the significance of ‘black’ and ‘white’ papers. A ‘black paper’ typically provides a critical or opposing viewpoint on a specific topic, challenging prevailing narratives, policies, or opinions. In contrast, a ‘white paper’ is a formal document offering detailed information, analysis, and proposals on a particular topic, aiming to inform decision-making processes and influence policy debates.