Government doesn’t want to accept employment crisis: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that the Central government is not accepting the “employment crisis” in the country, and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should discuss the issue with youth.

“Our current government does not even want to accept that there is employment crisis,” Gandhi said during an interaction with university students at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Auditorium here.

Speaking at the event ‘Shiksha: Dasha Aur Disha’, he also alleged that the country’s wealth is “concentrated” in the hands of “a few people” and that “for the last five years, Rs 3,50,000 crore worth loans of 15-20 big businesses have been waived off”.

“All works are being done to help 15-20 industrialists. Thinking is clear that the government does not want to spend money on education. The government wants students to spend money on education. The industrialists are being helped through the privatisation of this sector. Our thinking is that the government should help in education and health sectors.”

Gandhi asserted that the state must pay a large part of education of students and more money should be allocated to education than it is allocated today.

The Congress President said when “we were in power during United Progressive Alliance (UPA) I and UPA II, we opened more than 20 universities”.

“You know how many universities were opened in last five years? One,” he said.

“When I say government should support education, it means, making bank loans easier, scholarships, adding more universities, pushing enrolment. If you look at all these numbers, they have fallen in the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) regime,” Gandhi alleged.

China is growing economically, and one sees ‘Made in China’ labels on so many products in the country, Gandhi said, adding that he was “absolutely convinced” that India could go ahead of China.

He reiterated the per-hour job figures to attack the Prime Minister on the issue.

“In a country of over 1.2 billion people India is creating about 450 jobs per 24 hours while China is creating 50,000 jobs in the same period,” he said, claiming, “these are not my figures, but of the Finance Ministry given in Lok Sabha”.

“Our Prime Minister doesn’t seem to think this is a problem,” Gandhi alleged.

“We need to first acknowledge that there is a problem, and then we need to galvanise support to fight it. That is what we (Congress) believe in,” he said.

Gandhi also promised if the Congress is voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the next government would accord, by law, the status of “martyr” to those paramilitary troopers, who lose their lives in the line of duty.

Responding to a question posed by a PhD student Shruti Gautam with reference to paramilitary soldiers, Gandhi said: “Paramilitary forces don’t get martyr’s status when they lay down their lives. If we form the government, we will give the status of martyrs to those paramilitary soldiers who lay down their lives in the line of duty.”

He had earlier raised this issue in the wake of the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.

A week after the attack, Gandhi wrote on Twitter: “The brave are martyred. Their families struggle. Forty jawans give their lives but are denied the status of ‘Shaheed’ (martyr).”