Govt junks Yashwant Sinha's economy hit job; ministers laud policies

Ministers laud policies, Oppn targets Centre

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Govt junks Yashwant Sinha's economy hit job; ministers laud policies
Yashwant Sinha

The BJP-led government at the Centre on Wednesday brushed aside veteran party leader Yashwant Sinha's takedown of the Centre's handling of India's economy.

In a scathing piece in a national daily, Sinha, who has been criticising the government of late, blamed the Centre and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for what he called an economic downturn. Yashwant Sinha has been without any important role in the party or the government. His remarks embarrass both the party and government as his son Jayant Sinha is a Union minister.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India is currently one of the world's fastest growing economies — a fact that has been documented.

"The whole world admits that India is the fastest growing economy in the world. No one should forget this fact. In the international arena, India's credibility has been established," he said, without mentioning Sinha, who had served as Finance Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Cabinet.

The BJP, on the other hand, chose to ignore Sinha's article that also took indirect pot shots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Apparently, Rajnath's comments came after the party high command decided that no one from the organisation will speak on the issue, and gave the responsibility to defend the government to the senior leader who is known for his measured tone.

Informed sources said that the party will stick to its stand of not disrespecting its senior leaders, and will let the government do the talking.

"Sinha ji is our very senior leader and we respect him. It is not in our culture to hit back even if a veteran leader says something utterly wrong," said a BJP leader.

However, Sinha's article gave an opportunity to the Opposition to attack the government. "Ladies & Gentlemen, this is your copilot & FM speaking. Plz fasten your seat belts & take brace position. The wings have fallen off our plane," Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

His party colleague and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram praised Sinha. "We are happy he has spoken the truth, echoed our views about the economy. He has spoken truth to the power," he said.

Cabinet Minister Piyush Goyal, however, credited Modi's decisive leadership for India's position as the world's fastest growing economy three years in a row. "For the first time in the Indian history India is driving world growth at all levels. If you see some of the landmark reforms that this government has brought in are unprecedented. Something like GST was never imagined to be possible in a country of the size and scale of India." said Goyal.

Goyal claimed the government has brought in structural changes in different aspects of the economy and government working, breaking silos within departments and making them work as one strong anti-corruption unit.

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