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Rahul Gandhi becoming ‘Doomsday Man’ of India: Union Finance Minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 13, 2021 Published on February 13, 2021

Rahul Gandhi

Tearing apart the speech made by Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi on the Union Budget, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman posed 10 questions and blamed him for building ‘fake narratives’ that ‘demean’ the country.

"He is constantly indulging in the politics of the fringe and insulting constitutional authorities. He is perhaps becoming the ‘Doomsday Man of India’. I have apprehensions for the Opposition that is in the clutches of this ‘Doomsday Man of India’," she said while replying to debate on General Budget in Lok Sabha on Saturday. Rahul Gandhi was not present in the house during reply.

She posed 10 questions on his speech. "In the entire history of free India, discussions on the Budget have taken place every year. What does this Opposition leader want to state by refusing to speak on the Budget?" she asked before listing questions.

First, the Union Finance Minister said that she expected Rahul Gandhi to explain the Congress's U-turn on farm reforms as similar promises were part of Congress's election manifesto earlier. Second, she expected Rahul Gandhi to explain why farm loan waiver was not been implemented in Madhya Pradesh (when Congress was in power), Rajasthan.

"Congress is so sympathetic to farmers' issues. Then, why not implement the loan waiver especially when you come to power-riding on these promises," Sitharaman said.

"My third expectation was Rahul Gandhi would say something on Punjab's 'kala kanoon' that has provision to send farmers to jail. I thought he would say he has asked Punjab CM to repeal that law," Sitharaman said. In her fourth point, she said she expected Gandhi to say something on stubble burning but he did not.

"I expected Rahul Gandhi to at least point one clause of the three laws that is anti-farmer," the finance minister said in her fifth point. In her sixth point, the finance minister referred to Gandhi's 'Hum do, Hamare do' jibe and said, "When PM Modi talked about small farmers, I expected Rahul Gandhi to announce that he had also asked 'his two' to return lands to farmers that were acquired at throwaway prices. But he didn't do that."

"I had also expected Rahul Gandhi to say that Congress party won't dishonour Manmohan Singh after PM Modi quoted Manmohan Singh on farm reforms. I expected he would say why the Congress has started to forget Manmohan Singh's ideas," she said listing this as her seventh point. "Can you show one proof of APMC being closed anywhere in the country? I expected him to come up with at least one example," Sitharaman said.

"This is not an expectation, but a question to Rahul Gandhi. Why does he choose to insult constitutional authorities?" Sitharaman asked even raking up the 2013 incident when Gandhi had trashed then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ordinance when Singh was abroad. "My last point will be the fake narrative that he is building identifying with the 'break India fringe group'. I remember what he said about Covid-19 pandemic. I don't want to waste the time of the House by repeating the same but in summary, it was like 'I will continue to demean India', " Sitharaman said.

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Published on February 13, 2021
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