New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pounced on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of neglecting the impoverished and balling up against the farmers’ who are adamant in their demand of repealing three contentious farm laws.
“Who are our cronies? Our cronies are the common ‘janta’ (people) of this country”, the Finance Minister said after replying to the budget related questions in the Lok Sabha.
“Where are the cronies? They’re hiding probably in the shadow of that party which has been rejected by the people. The shadows who were invited to even develop a port..they were invited. No open tenders, no global tenders,” she further stated.
The Finance Minister retaliated to the Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for criticizing the Modi government over the farmers’ protests and for what is happening on the India-China border since the past few days.
While retaliating to the Congress leader, she said that the Congress (when the party was still in power) in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan promised the farmers for loan waivers is not yet fulfilled. She also condemned Mr. Gandhi for misinterpreting the new agricultural laws which are all in favor of the farmers to sell at market places with the prices of their own choice.
“Have APMCs (Mandis) been closed after the introduction of the Farmers Act? He (Mr. Gandhi) was speaking like they had been…They (the new laws) are also helping the condition of APMCs. He is insulting everyone whether President, Prime Minister or Speaker…constantly lying and insulting the country,” Ms Sitharaman said in continuation.
The farmers misunderstood the new agricultural laws. They feared the discontinuance of mandis and traditional wholesale markets after the laws were imposed. However, this is not at all true. The opposition raised an issue against the laws imposed and said it will lead to job losses on a large scale.
“It would have been nice if he (Mr. Gandhi) who talked about “hum do humare do” also talked about returning damaads returning land…but didn’t say anything about this,” Nirmala Sitharaman taking into consideration the land deals involving Robert Vadra.
Ms. Sitharaman also defended the Centre over various schemes launched.
“The PM SVANidhi yojana for those who constantly accuse us of dealing with cronies, doesn’t go to cronies. Damaads get land in states which are governed by some parties : Rajasthan, Haryana once upon a time,” she said.
Ms. Sitharaman on Friday mocked out on the opposition in Rajya Sabha and said “it had become a sort of habit…to constantly allege..this government works only for cronies.”
“In-spite of what we are doing for the poor and the steps taken for helping the poor and the needy of this country…a false narrative is created,” the Finance Minister said.