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P Chidambaram flays PM Narendra Modi's "empty coffer" suggestion

Friday, 20 June 2014 - 9:04pm IST | Agency: PTI

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks suggesting he took over reins with an "empty coffer" UPA has left behind, Congress today asked BJP and NDA to come out of election "campaign mode" and "political rhetroic".

In a point-by-point rebuttal of Modi's remarks, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram asked a number of questions citing compartive figures of cash balance, foreign exchange reserves and outstanding liabilities of the central government and asked what did the Prime Minister mean when he said there is nothing left behind.

"The opening cash balance on June 1, 2004 just after NDA government demited office was negative Rs 2730 crore. On the other hand, the opening cash balance on June 1, 2014 just after UPA demited office was Rs 26,510 crore. We do not subscribe to the empty coffers theory but for the sake of argument, we would like to ask who left behind an empty treasury," he said.

Conceding that inflation was "one of the reasons" for Congress' debacle in Lok Sabha polls, he also said the new dispensation will also soon learn that not all factors are under the control of any government. "Every government has faced inflation. Not every factor is under the control of the government. If fuel prices go up, inflation will happen....Government has announced some sets of measures. We had also announced similar sets of measures.

"...Let me caution not all factors are within the control of the government, yet government should take all measures to bring down inflation," Chidambaram said. Taking strong objection to the Prime Minister's remarks, he said "we would have ignored the remarks as part of the political rhetoric that started during the election campaign.

However, similar remarks have been made by others as well". "...We would be happy if BJP/NDA comes out of campaign mode and gets on with the business of governing the country", Chidambaram said.
Replying to questions, he said "we will play the role of a resolute, determined and responsible opposition. ...Our party will be a responsible and formidable Opposition."




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