Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha continued his no holds barred criticism of the government’s economic management, questioning the defence put by BJP leaders, including his son and MoS for civil aviation Jayant Sinha who had rebutted his claim that the economy is sinking.
“If Jayant Sinha was so capable to respond to what I have raised, then why was he removed from the finance ministry,” said Sinha in response to a query about the article written by his son in TOI on Thursday. The junior Sinha had been MoS in finance.
“Several articles have been written in the recent past about the Indian economy. Unfortunately, these articles draw sweeping conclusions from a narrow set of facts, and quite simply miss the fundamental structural reforms that are transforming the economy,” Jayant Sinha had written.
Yashwant Sinha, however, remained unmoved and said he had waited long enough before speaking on the economy and in particular criticising finance minister Arun Jaitley. He countered his son and other ministers, saying, “I have presented seven budgets and if he (Jayant) is so competent he should answer why he was removed as (junior) finance minister.”
“He is entitled to his own views as the government spokesperson and I have my own views,” said Yashwant Sinha.
After ministers like home minister Rajnath Singh and railway minister Piyush Goyal countered Sinha’s claims on Wednesday, BJP did not react on Thursday.
The party seemed to have taken the view there is no need for immediate disciplinary action. It was left to finance minister Arun Jaitley to respond at a public function later in the evening.
As his views led to political slugfest between BJP and Congress, Sinha on Thursday claimed he had not expected such a furore though he wanted to bring facts in the public domain in the hope that the government will take note.
“It was not a personal rancor. Rather, I expect a course correction and it should not be made a political rhetoric,” he said.
Sinha, however, clarified that he didn’t raise the issue on a party platform as he is not someone who will approach the leadership claiming, “I have to make some suggestions.”
The former finance minister was clearly in a defiant mood, asking sarcastically whether Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal know more about the economy. “I politely disagree that India is a pivot to the world economy.”
Sinha issued a few tweets before his comments on Thursday. “Long run ki baat hoti hai, lekin mujhe Keynes ka ek quote yaad aata hai, ‘In the long run we are all dead’,” tweeted Sinha. He suggested that demonetisation shouldn’t have been attempted when the economy was weak and that GST served a second big blow.
“Sabse pehla task jo is sarkar ke paas tha ki Banks ki haalat ka sudhaar karo, jiska hum log abhi tak intezaar hi kar rahe hain,”(Government should have focused on banking reforms first, which is still awaited),” Sinha tweeted.