Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Friday downplayed reports of a rise in unemployment by saying joblessness was only in media findings, according to Hindustan Times. Speaking at a press conference held to mark three years of the party ruling the government, Shah said jobs could not be guaranteed given India’s large population.

“It is not possible to provide employment to everyone in the organised sector in a country of 125 crore people. We have, therefore, promoted swarojgar (self-employment),” Shah said. The BJP leader’s statements come after several major companies have laid off hundreds of employees.

Opposition parties have criticised the Narendra Modi-led administration, citing official statistics indicating a marginal increase in unemployment — from 4.9% in 2013-’14 to 5% in 2015-’16. The newspaper report quoted a Labour Bureau document which said 1.52 lakh casual labourers lost their jobs during October-December 2016. The Centre had announced its decision to demonetisate Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 last year.

Taking a jibe at the Congress party’s demand for a white paper on unemployment, Shah said if the rival party had brought out a white paper on employment in 10 years, maybe they would not have lost the government.

Shah also predicted that the saffron party would surpass its success during the 2014 polls in the next Lok Sabha elections, which will be held in 2019.