Has the Indian economy slowed down? If so, should Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization be demonized? These are all-important questions that have sparked a war of words between two of BJP’s bigwigs.
The verbal duelling between India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and ex-Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha shows no signs of abating, with Mr. Sinha hitting back at Mr. Jaitley over his “job applicant at 80” jibe. “If I was a job applicant, he (Jaitley) would not be there in the first place,” Mr Sinha said.
What set off the political slugfest is a hard-hitting column by the former two-time Finance Minister and BJP veteran Mr. Sinha, criticizing the economic policies of the Modi government, and launching a personal attack on Mr. Jaitley’s poor handling of the economy. “I would be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the Finance Minister has made of the economy,” he wrote. “The Prime Minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His Finance Minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters.”
Responding to the article, Mr. Jaitley, speaking at the launch of India at 70, Modi at 3.5 – Capturing India’s transformation under Narendra Modi, by Bibek Debroy and Ashok Malik, took a swipe at Mr. Sinha saying, “Probably, a more appropriate title for your book would have been ‘India at 70, Modi at 3.5 and a job applicant at 80’.” Without taking names he further said he did not “have the luxury as yet of being a former Finance Minister; nor do I have the luxury of being a former Finance Minister who’s turned a columnist.” Mr. Jaitley also took a swipe at Mr. Sinha for “acting in tandem” with Congress veteran and ex-Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.Read More