The Bharatiya Janata Party has raised manufacturing and jobs as its main election plank; however, the latest official data shows that non-BJP States have performed better on this front. The Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) findings for 2011-12, yet to be made public by the Central Statistics Office, show that the AIADMK-ruled Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of factories, accounting for 17 per cent of the 2.17 lakh units in India. The State also ranks first in the number of factory jobs. It is followed by the Congress-NCP ruled Maharashtra (13 per cent of the total factories) and the Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh (12.7 per cent).
BJP-ruled Gujarat comes in only in the fourth place with 10.2 per cent, as per the ASI data available exclusively with The Hindu.
In terms of factory workers too, the pecking order is the same: Tamil Nadu followed by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
The ASI findings assume significance as the BJP has said it will make economic issues, especially the manufacturing sector slowdown and factory jobs, its main poll plank. Describing the Lok Sabha polls as “an election of hope,” the BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, in an interview to ETV on Monday, listed job creation and industrial production among his top priorities. “Jobless growth is the biggest crisis staring out at us” he said talking about the Congress.
Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We are happy that the campaign is moving towards economic issues as our prime ministerial candidate has been raising these issues but without any response from the Congress.”