Slowdown slugfest: From Yashwant Sinha, Arun Jaitley, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Jayant Sinha to P Chidambaram – who said what

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New Delhi | Published: September 29, 2017 4:25:37 PM

Economic slowdown has become a slugfest among politicians.

yashwant sinha, arun jaitley, jayant sinha, p chidambaram, rajeev chandrasekhar, narendra modi, economic slowdown, slowdown slugfestFrom left: Yashwant Sinha, Arun Jaitley and P Chidambaram. (PTI/IE file)

Economic slowdown has become a slugfest among politicians. From BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Arun Jaitley, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Jayant Sinha to CongressP Chidambaram, all have jumped into the slugfest, trying to prove the others wrong. It all started when former Union finance Minister Yashwant Sinha wrote a scathing article against Modi government over the state of the economy. Sinha blamed present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for creating a “mess” in the economy. Sinha’s article provided the opposition a fresh alibi to attack the government, while the latter also jumped in to defend its position, even as arguments and counter-arguments flew freely from all sides. Here we take a look at who said what:

Here we take a look at who said what:

Yashwant Sinha

Writing in The Indian Express on Wednesday, former Union Finance Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha attacked current Union FM Arun Jaitley, holding the latter responsible for creating a “mess” in Indian economy. “I shall be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the finance minister has made of the economy. A large number of people in the BJP and elsewhere who are not speaking up out of fear.”

Sinha said, Jaitley is considered to be the “best and the brightest” in this government. But, “In challenging times it becomes more than a 24/7 job. Naturally, even a superman like Jaitley could not do justice to the task,” he said.

He alleged that Jaitley failed to take corrective measures in time as “he was carrying the heavy burden of so many extra responsibilities. The results are there for all of us to see.” The former FM further alleged that Jaitley has resorted to creating fears in the minds of people through CBI and IT raids. “We protested against raid raj when we were in opposition. Today it has become the order of the day…Instilling fear in the minds of the people is the name of the new game.”

After Jaitley hit back at Sinha on Thursday, Sinha told ANI, “In Pakistan, they ousted Prime Minister due to his involvement in Panama Case, what did they (government) do here? How much black money did Arun Jaitley bring back?. He further said, “They say I was useless as a minister. How could they have given me the ministry of External Affairs if I was so useless?.

On Jaitley’s “job applicant at 80” remark, Sinha said, “I did not come to politics after retirement. I left my post in IAS. So I could not be asking for a job at the age of 80 years.” The former also took a swipe at Jaitley’s Thursday speech, saying, “He (Jaitley) delivered a well-researched speech but overlooked Advani Ji’s advice to refrain from personal attacks.”

Arun Jaitley

On Thursday, Jaitley hit back at Sinha and even taunted the former FM as someone who is a “job applicant at 80”. Speaking at an event in Delhi, Jaitley also reminded Sinha of his own record as the former Finance Minister of the country. “When India is at 70, there are always attempts to change the narrative itself. I must confess that I do not have the luxury as yet of being a former Finance Minister. Nor do I have the luxury of being a former finance minister who has turned a columnist. Therefore I can conveniently forget a policy paralysis, 4 billion reserve left in 1991 (When Sinha was the FM) and I can switch over and change a narrative,” Jaitley said.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar says after three years of repair, Indian economy is in a better place.Taking a dig at Sinha, Chandrasekhar said the veteran BJP leader has joined “some others in a desperate attempt to build a narrative of a failing economy.” Terming Sinha’s opinion as ‘wishful thinking’, Chandrasekhar said nothing was further from the truth. Chandrasekhar also attacked P. Chidambaram for “rushing to embrace Sinha’s article”. “Sinha himself has described Chidambaram as the FM who caused the GDP to decline. Perhaps Chidambaram too hopes, as Sushil Kumar Shinde had after the UPA’s scams: The memory of the Indian public is short,” Chandrasekhar was quoted as saying by IE.

“There is space for honest discussion on the economy, about further reforms and transformation to make sure every citizen benefits but not political fake-point scoring…After three years of repair and rebuilding, the Indian economy is in a better place and is better prepared to deliver longer periods of higher rates of growth,” he said.

Jayant Sinha

MoS Civil Aviation and son of Yashwant Sinha, Jayant debunked the article by Yashwant Sinha, saying it misses the structural reforms brought in by the central government since 2014. Writing in Times of India, Sinha also rejected all allegations levelled against government’s moves like demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying these were path-breaking efforts to formalise the country’s economy.

Piyush Goyal

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal led BJP’s counter, indicating the economy is in great shape. “The whole country and the world has seen that under the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Modi, India has become the world’s fastest-growing economy for three consecutive years in a row. For the first time in the Indian history, India is driving world growth at all levels,” Goyal said.

On GST, Goyal said, “In fact, we are the largest country in the world to have implemented GST…The kind of structural changes we have brought in different aspects of the economy, different aspects of government’s working, breaking the silos within different departments and working as one strong entity with the steadfast purpose of serving the poorest of poor. The poorest of the poor is in the focus of every action of this government.”

P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram tweeted: “Yashwant Sinha speaks Truth to Power. Will Power now admit the Truth that economy is sinking?” In another tweet, he said, “ETERNAL TRUTH: No matter what Power does, ultimately Truth will prevail.” The attack on the Modi government for “terrible mismanagement of economy” did not stop on the micro-blogging site. P Chidambaram addressed a press conference listing economic problems which the country is facing. “Private investments are dwindling and exports are on a steady decline over the past three years,” Chidambaram said while calling the GST implementation “terrible and ill-conceived.” (With agency inputs)

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