Turning up the heat on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the reported high rate of unemployment and job losses in the country, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday, alleged that Modi’s policies “destroyed” one crore jobs in 2018 alone and that “India’s PM is a joke”.

Seeking to turn the focus back on the issue of lack of jobs and employment opportunities for the country’s youths, Gandhi tagged a fresh media report which, quoting the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data, stated that for the first time since 1993-94, the actual size of India’s male workforce has shrunk.

The media report quoted in this regard the NSSO report ~ based on the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted between July 2017 and June 2018 ~ which the Modi government has not released so far.

According to the NSSO’s PLFS, the country’s unemployment rate was reportedly at a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.

Launching a scathing attack on PM Modi, Gandhi tweeted, “I thought India was producing 450 jobs a day. Turns out Modi’s policies destroyed 1 crore jobs in 2018. That’s 27,000 jobs lost every single day of 2018. India’s PM is a joke.”

The media report said that altogether India’s national workforce has shrunk by 4.7 crore since 2011-12.

Addressing a rally in Manipur during the day, Gandhi reportedly said: “In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi destroyed one crore jobs in the country. This is the scale of his incompetence. It is absurd and ridiculous that the PM promises giving two crore jobs (a year).”

Slamming the Modi government over job losses, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the country’s “chowkidar (watchman)”, PM Modi, was responsible for “stealing” 4.7 crore youths’ jobs.

“Modi ji has eaten up 4.7 crore jobs of the youths. Due to the BJP’s ‘pan-pakoda’ policy, 4.7 crore youths had to wash their hands of their jobs,” he reportedly charged. “(PM Modi’s) Promise was to give 10 crore jobs (in 5 years), but 4.7 crore jobs have been taken away. The country’s chowkidar is responsible for stealing jobs,” Surjewala said with the hashtag “Chowkidar Chor Hai (watchman is thief)”.