Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a series of claims throughout 2017, many of which turned out to be either untrue or partially true. Here is a list of ten such claims made by the PM which could not withstand scrutiny.
1. Former PM Vajpayee was a passenger on India’s first ever metro
At a speech to mark the inauguration of the Magenta line of Delhi metro, PM Modi on December 25 said that former PM Vajpayee became a passenger on India’s first ever metro service when the Delhi metro was flagged off in 2002. The contention proved to be incorrect.
The first metro service to be launched in India was the Kolkata metro, the foundation stone for which was laid by former PM Indira Gandhi in 1972. The service was finally launced in 1984. Delhi metro was India’s 2nd metro service after Kolkata.
2. Linking Gujarat election to Manmohan Singh meeting Pak diplomat at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house
In one of the rallies ahead of the Gujarat polls, PM Modi insinuated that a conspiracy was afoot by suggesting that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor had gathered at the residence of Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar at New Delhi on December 6 to meet the Pakistani High Commissioner. PM Modi’s suggestion, implying a link between the meeting and the Gujarat election had kicked up a storm.
Former Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor who was also present at the meeting had said that the Gujarat election was not discussed in the meeting. After the election had concluded, Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Leader of the Rajya Sabha issued a clarification in the upper house that the Prime Minister did not question nor mean to question the commitment of former PM Manmohan Singh and former VP Hamid Ansari.
3. “We started the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme”
PM Modi while addressing a rally in Karnataka in October stated that it was his govt that had launched the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. He added that the Govt had saved upto Rs,57,000 crore by eliminating middlemen and plugging leakages.
We started direct benefit transfer scheme. This resulted in money reaching to its rightful owner. We successfully eliminated middlemen: PM pic.twitter.com/TYjaZY1IGH
— ANI (@ANI) October 29, 2017
This claim too fell flat on its face, as the DBT scheme had been first launched in the year 2013. The Union Budget of February 2013 had announced that the scheme would be retrospectively effective from January 1, 2013. In fact, a tweet by the Prime Minister’s Office (@PMOIndia) of August 2017 itself stated how the DBT scheme had grown from 2013-14 to the present year.
4. Mani Shankar Aiyar’s statement on Mughal dynasty and Congress party distorted
On the eve of the Gujarat election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made yet another claim that turned out to be misleading. PM Modi referred to a statement by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar wherein he claimed that Aiyar had compared the Congress party to the Mughal dynasty. In his characteristic style, the Prime Minister said that eminent Congress leaders were themselves admitting that the party was the family and the family was the party.
कांग्रेस को उनका “औरंगज़ेब राज” मुबारक.. pic.twitter.com/LMTNx5P64p
— Amit Malviya (@malviyamit) December 4, 2017
However, it turned out that Aiyar’s quote had been mischievously edited. The Congress leader was not comparing Rahul Gandhi’s election to the post of party president with Aurangzeb Raj as alleged by PM Modi and sections of mainstream media. He was actually drawing a contrast between the dynasticism of the Mughals and the democratic nature of the election within the party for the post of President.
5. More electricity supplied during Eid than Diwali in U.P
Ahead of the U.P assembly election, PM Modi at a rally in Fatehpur had suggested that the U.P govt then headed by the Samajwadi party had supplied more electricity during the festival of Eid than Diwali. PM Modi had said, “Ramzan me bijli ati hai toh Diwali me bhi ani chahiye; bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye” (If there is electricity during Ramadan then it must be available during Diwali too; there shouldn’t be any discrimination).
This assertion too turned out to be false as according to official statistics, the power supply on Eid (6 July 2016) was 13,500 MW per day while the power supply on Diwali (28 Oct to Nov 1, 2016) was 15,400 MW per day with a 24-hour supply on all 5 days. These statistics clearly showed that not only was the power supply not deficient on the days of Diwali, but in fact was more than Eid.
6. ISI link to Kanpur train derailment
150 people were killed when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur in November 2016. Addressing a rally in U.P in February 2017 ahead of the U.P assembly election, PM Modi made a startling claim that Pakistan’s ISI was behind the derailment.
This claim was busted by none other than the then DGP of U.P Police Javeed Ahmed and DG Railways, U.P Police who stated on record that there was no evidence of the involvement of ISI in the train derailment.
7. Uttar Pradesh is number 1 in crime
Prime Minister Modi claimed that Uttar Pradesh had the highest crime rate among all the states in the country, with 24 rapes, 21 attempts to rape, 13 murders, 33 kidnappings, 19 riots and 136 thefts every day. This remark was made at an election rally in the state.
However, a simple fact check revealed that PM Modi’s remark was untrue and misleading. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), crime rate is calculated per 100,000 population and not on the basis of ‘per day’ measure which PM Modi referred to. While states with larger population record higher number of crimes in absolute terms, crime rate per 100,000 population is a better measure for comparing crime rate between different states. Dissecting the data on crime for 2015 which is the latest data available on the NCRB website, it was found that PM Modi’s figures were highly inflated. Contrary to what he claimed, the figures translated to ‘per day’ terms revealed that other states were ahead of U.P in terms of crime rate.
8. Insurance scheme to protect against weather-based uncertainties launched
“Humne aisi Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana laaye hai ki agar prakrutik karano se kisan buaai nahin kar paaya, to bhi usko bima milega. Aisi koi yojana dekhi hai?” (We started such a crop insurance scheme–named Prime Ministers’ Crop Insurance Scheme – where, even if natural reasons affect the crop at sowing, the farmer will be insured. Has anybody seen such a scheme before?) said Prime Minister Modi at a rally at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh in February 2017.
PM Modi’s claim was misleading. As reported by Hindustan Times, the earlier insurance scheme for farmers had a sub-scheme named Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS). Weather-based crop insurance had been launched in India during the Kharif 2003 season on a pilot basis. WBCIS insured crops against the vagaries of nature such as drought, excessive rain and frost.
9. Maximum number of atrocities against Dalits in U.P
“Hindustan mein sabse jyada Daliton par atyachaar agar kahin hote hai, to us pradesh ka naam hai Uttar Pradesh” (If there is a region in India where crimes against lower castes are the highest, it is Uttar Pradesh), Prime Minister Modi claimed in the rally at Barabanki in U.P in February 2017. This claim is not true, according to this report by Hindustan Times. As pointed out above, crime rate is calculated by the NCRB per 100,000 population and not on the basis of absolute number of crimes reported. Insofar as crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs) are concerned, U.P’s crime rate was 20 per 100,000 population. As many as 11 states registered a worse crime rate against SCs than UP, according to the NCRB data. Rajasthan had the highest crime rate against SCs with 57 crimes per 100,000 population.
10. Rahul Gandhi referred to ‘coconut juice’ and ‘aloo ki factory’
PM Modi in a rally in Uttar Pradesh on March 1, 2017 claimed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had said he would help farmers in Manipur extract ‘coconut juice’ and sell it in London. He further said that Rahul Gandhi had claimed he would set up a potato factory (Aloo ki factory) for farmers
The truth is that Rahul Gandhi had not referred to coconut or ‘coconut juice’ but pineapple juice.
With regard to PM Modi’s claim that Rahul Gandhi had spoken about setting up a potato factory, the latter had in fact referred to setting up a factory for making potato chips and not potato.
Alt News will keep a close eye on statements emanating from the highest office in the country and will continue to diligently place the truth in the public domain without fear or favour.