All That Glitters...

India Today - - UPFRONT -

In a tweet that was both sy­co­phan­tic and self­con­grat­u­la­tory, coal and rail­ways min­is­ter Piyush Goyal cel­e­brated the ‘elec­tri­fi­ca­tion’ of ev­ery vil­lage in In­dia by way of a ‘be­fore’ and ‘af­ter’ dip­tych that pur­ported to show the ef­fect of the gov­ern­ment’s im­pres­sive ef­forts. “With the elim­i­na­tion of dark­ness from the lives of fel­low In­dian vil­lagers”, Goyal con­cluded sen­ten­tiously, “we com­mit our­selves to build­ing a new and #Pow­er­fulIn­dia”. The NASA im­ages he used, taken from space, showed the ex­tent of In­dia’s bright­en­ing in 2016, com­pared with four years ear­lier. In the wake of an out­pour­ing of Twit­ter cyn­i­cism, Goyal’s of­fice linked to both NASA and an ar­ti­cle in Na­tional Geo­graphic to bol­ster his case. But at least half of the credit for ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion be­tween 2012 and 2016 must go to the Congress-led UPA gov­ern­ment. The Congress is also right to point out that while the Modi gov­ern­ment put the fin­ish­ing touches on the ru­ral elec­trif­ca­tion of In­dia, pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments had com­pleted 97% of the job. Goyal is not guilty of fab­ri­ca­tion but he is over­stat­ing his case. A tire­some and pre­dictable piece of re­sume-buff­ing. He had no time to rest on his lau­rels though, be­ing forced to take to Twit­ter again to ag­gres­sively fend off al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion.n

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