The Congress today targeted the Modi government over the state of the economy after BJP leader Yashwant Sinha criticised Arun Jaitley over the “mess the finance minister has made of the economy”. In a newspaper article headlined, “I need to speak up now”, Sinha said a revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election was “highly unlikely” and a “hard landing” appeared inevitable. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Jaitley, saying people should take positions as the “wings have fallen off our plane”. “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your copilot and FM speaking. Please fasten your seat belts and take brace position. The wings have fallen off our plane,” he tweeted.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram asked whether “power” would now accept the truth. “Yashwant Sinha speaks truth to power. Will power now admit the truth that economy is sinking?,” he said on Twitter. Quoting Sinha, Chidambaram said the truth is that the growth rate of 5.7 per cent is actually 3.7 per cent or less and that “instilling fear in the minds of the people is the name of the new game”. “Eternal truth: No matter what power does, ultimately truth will prevail,” the Congress leader said. Sinha, who was finance minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, said in the article that he would be failing in his national duty if he did not speak up.
Criticising the BJP government’s handling of the economy, Sinha wrote, “Finance ministry, in the best of times, calls for the undivided attention of its boss if the job has to be properly done. In challenging times it becomes more than a 24/7 job. Naturally, even a superman like Jaitley could not do justice to the task.” “The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters,” he said.