Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today issued a scathing rebuttal to Trinamool’s Congress’s Mahua Moitra, who had targeted the government yesterday, questioning “Who is Pappu” — Pappu being the pejorative BJP uses for Congress’s Rahul Gandhi.
“Honorable member Mahua Moitra has questioned who’s the Pappu, where’s the Pappu. She should look in her own backyard, and she will find Pappu in West Bengal… All the macro-economics fundamentals are being questioned… So there is no doubt that where there are wonderful schemes to benefit common people, West Bengal sits over it, doesn’t distribute it. You don’t have to search anywhere else for Pappu,” the minister said in Parliament.
“But even worse is this one. “Maachis kiske haath mein hai” – I don’t want to elaborate too much on this. Because she probably wanted to spice up her questions… In a democracy people elect the leader. Don’t undermine the people by saying who’s given them the power… The BJP had a fantastic victory in Gujarat, and see how peacefully the new government took over. Compare it to Bengal’s state elections — the question is how the maachis was used there and by whom? When the maachis was in our hand, we gave Ujjwala, Ujala, PM Kisan Yojana, Swach Bharat Abhiyan. In your hands the maachis led to looting, rapes of our (BJP) workers,” Ms Sitharaman added.
Mahua Moitra had attacked the government yesterday over its claims of economic progress, citing its own data on industrial output.
Terming the government’s claims on economy and people getting basic amenities like cooking gas, housing, and electricity, as “falsehoods”, Ms Moitra said eight months later, in December, the situation becomes clear. The government, she said, has said it needs ₹ 3.26 lakh crore in additional funds, over and above the budget estimate.
“Falsehood flies and truth comes limping after it,” she added, quoting author Jonathan Swift.
“This government and the ruling party coined the term Pappu. You use it to denigrate and signify extreme incompetence. But the statistics tell us who the actual Pappu is,” she said. Referring to the latest data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ms Moitra claimed that while the country’s industrial output shrunk by four per cent in October to a 26-month low, the manufacturing sector, which is “still the biggest generator of jobs”, has contracted to 5.6 per cent.
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