Gowda’s ministry of statistics and programme implementation recently drew flak when two members of the National Statistical Commission resigned over delay in release of data suggesting a 45-year low in employment opportunities.
Talking to News18, he said, “I don’t think so (it’s a poll issue), because we also will come out with figures. We will also come out with statistics to show we have created jobs. Total employment generation does not mean only government employment,” adding that not much must be read into the resignation of the members.
Gowda said, “Of course, we did a periodical labour survey. We wanted to place before people what’s the employment generated. What are the problems in employment generation and related details. And, we wanted to give statistics, yearly data in rural areas and quarterly data in urban areas. We were collecting data in the last two quarters, June to December. Meanwhile, the two members resigned. They had some sort of… I don’t want to say anything. They resigned. Hence, this opinion was created it is manipulated data. I don’t agree.”
The commission’s responsibility was to give parameters and guidelines. Only after due discussions did the government plan to release the data, which got delayed, but was the process is underway, he said.
“National issues are entirely different. Of course, youngsters feel there should be more employment and I don’t dispute that. In the last five years, the development activities of my government, financial stability, how we brought financial indiscipline on track, how we took legislative measures to curb black money are the issues,” the Union minister said.
Stating that he was unperturbed by reports that former Prime Minister Deve Gowda may contesting against him from the Bangalore North seat, “Whoever comes there, either Deve Gowda or Sonia Gandhi — we are prepared to fight. Whoever comes, we will win this election. I have that much faith,” he told News18.