In a fresh attack on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former FM and BJP MP Yashwant Sinha today asked how much black money has the former managed to bring back to the country. “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?, Sinha told ANI.
On Wednesday, Sinha wrote a scathing article in The Indian Express, blaming Jaitley for pushing Indian economy for the current “mess” and not utilising opportunities that came in the way of Narendra Modi government at the Centre since 2014. Sinha had also attacked the government on demonetisation decision and early introduction of GST. Sinha’s article created a political storm as opposition leaders also jumped in to take potshots at Jaitley and the government.
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 had 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.
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On Sinha’s remarks against GST and demonetisation, Jaitley said, “Demonetisation was intended to make sure that this anonymous tender (money) get identified to its owner. Shadow economy was playing under the old normal and those who opposed it were the ones under whom shadow economy was operating…It was everyone’s call that GST should come. States knew the merits of GST. Those who had pushed this country into policy paralysis, when they saw it coming, they said to postpone it.”
On Friday, however, Sinha hit back at Jaitley. “They say I was useless as a minister. How could they have given me the ministry of External Affairs if I was so useless?,” he told ANI. Sinha was moved from the Finance Ministry to the External Affairs Ministry during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He further said, “During my tenure (as FM) there was never a discussion on inflation in Parliament because we had kept it well under control.”
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 job at the age of 80 years.” The former also took a swipe at Jaitley’s Friday speech, saying, “He (Jaitley) delivered a well researched speech but overlooked Advani Ji’s advice to refrain from personal attacks.”