Rahul Gandhi dismissed the new ranking as at odds with reality. Jaitley hit back saying that the UPA era was marked by an “ease of corruption”
Rahul tweeted an improvised Ghalib verse to suggest Jaitley was deluding himself. A sharp political squabble broke out over India’s jump in the World Bank’s ease of doing business on Wednesday with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi dismissing the new ranking as at odds with reality, prompting finance minister Arun Jaitley to hit back saying that the UPA era was marked by an “ease of corruption”.
Rahul tweeted an improvised Ghalib verse to suggest Jaitley was deluding himself. “Sabko maloom hai ‘ease of doing business’ ki haqeeqat, lekin khud ko khush rakhne ke liye ‘Dr Jaitley’ ye khayal achha hai (Everybody knows the reality of ease of doing business, but this thought, Dr Jaitley, is good to keep you happy),” he said.
Jaitley responded by taking a dig at the UPA-era scams, saying, “The difference between the UPA and NDA – ‘The ease of doing corruption has been replaced by the ease of doing business’.” He said the World Bank rankings were based on tough parameters and it had required sustained reform efforts (in India) to show tangible results.
Congress sought to contrast the Modi government’s congratulatory tone with its silence on India’s poor rankings in the world hunger index, while Rahul referred to the World Bank as a “foreign agency”.
“Yesterday Arun Jaitleyji said some foreign organisation has certified that India has considerably improved in ease of doing business,” he said at a rally in Gujarat.
“The entire country will shout and say ease of doing business is absent, you have destroyed it, demonetisation and GST have ruined it.”
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad joined the war of words, saying Rahul is nowadays turning to his pet dog Pidi for advice. “Nowadays Rahul ji has a view on everything, whatever is left out is said by Pidi (ajkal Rahul ji har cheez par raay rakh rahe hain, jo kuch bachta hai wo Pidi se rakhwa rahe hain. Theek hai uska bhi adhikaar hai). Rahul had recently posted a video of Pidi, remarking sarcastically that the answer to BJP’s queries as to who is doing his tweeting lay in the pet who is the real author of his tweets.
Taking a dig at what he called “over the top” reaction on the World Bank report, AICC spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Shukla said, “Let the prime minister, the BJP ministers, the party (BJP) president and other leaders also hold press conferences on India having been ranked 100th among 119 countries in the Hunger Index, just as it is 100th in the ‘ease of doing business’,” he said. Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said, the fruits of tough reforms are coming through.