Chidambaram praises Yashwant Sinha for speaking truth to power
New Delhi: Patting the back of veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha for slamming the Modi government for the current state of economy, former finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday wondered will the Centre admit the truth that economy is sinking.
Earlier in the day Yashwant Sinha, who served as the Finance Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre, hogged the limelight for his article in The Indian Express criticising the BJP government’s handling of the economy.
Sinha wrote in his article, “Finance ministry, in the best of times, calls for the undivided attention of its boss if the job has to be properly done. In challenging times it becomes more than a 24/7 job. Naturally, even a superman like Jaitley could not do justice to the task.”
Chidambaram also pointed out the statistics that Sinha laid out to emphasise that the state of the economy was not like it was shown on the basis of GDP growth rate numbers.
Sinha has claimed that due to the new method of calculating GDP growth rate, the actual figure changes significantly.
Chidambaram also pointed out Sinha's piece in which he has claimed that when BJP was in Opposition, it strongly opposed “raid raj” but now it seems to be the order of the day.
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram said the Congress had assiduously exposed the "many weaknesses and a terrible mismanagement" of the economy.
"We are happy that Yashwant Sinha has echoed our criticism," said Chidambaram, who added: "It is not often that from this platform the principal opposition party will welcome a statement of a veteran leader of the ruling party."
Chidambaram said Sinha's views were not different from what MPs belonging to the BJP and other parties "have told us since many months privately and in soft whispers".
He said it was a sad commentary on the times that MPs were afraid to reflect what they see and hear around them, especially in their constituencies. "Yet we call ourselves a free country."
Chidambaram said it were not only MPs who have become silent. "We have witnessed numerous examples of news reports and articles being pulled out before publication; of television interviews being taken off air; of scheduled talks at universities being cancelled; of social activists being investigated on trumped up charges; of editors and reporters being unceremoniously sacked; of academics and scholars being threatened; of judges being indirectly punished; and, most tragically, of authentic voices of the people being silenced by brutal killings."
Chidambaram said at least a dozen BJP MPs have "spoken to us" in the Central Hall and in committees about the economy. "Nobody dares to ask questions. An MP from Maharashtra who raised questions was asked to shut up. In this atmosphere of fear, if Sinha speaks up then he is speaking the truth."