On May 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chandigarh to address a rally in support of Kirron Kher, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the constituency. Things didn’t go according to plan, however.
Staging a protest against Modi’s remark from 2018 to the effect that selling pakodas is also employment, several students dressed up in graduation robes and arrived at the venue, ready to sell pakodas. They were, however, detained by the police before the event began.
In 2018, Modi had told Zee News in an interview, “If someone opens a pakoda shop in front of your office, does that not count as employment? The person’s daily earning of Rs 200 will never come into any books or accounts. The truth is large numbers of people are employed.” The statement had sparked massive controversy around unemployment in the country. According to a Business Standard report published earlier in 2019, unemployment spiked to a 45-year high according to data from the National Sample Survey Office’s Periodic Labour Force Review.