Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar
As the Winter Session of the Lok Sabha continues in full swing, All India Trinamool Congress's (TMC) Mahua Moitra and the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are knee-deep in a war of words.
On Tuesday, 13 September, during a discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants 2022-2023 and Demands for Excess Grants 2019-2020, All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a multitude of issues.
A day later, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman continued back and forth by responding to the allegations by the TMC leader.
Mahua Moitra Tears into Modi Government
The TMC leader tore into the BJP-led central government with questions about the mass exodus that is taking place, referring to scores of Indians renouncing Indian citizenship under the Modi-led government in the last 9 years.
Addressing the parliament, she said,
The question is not who burnt the colony? The question is who gave the matchstick in the hands of a madman. This is a question India needs to answer.
Quoting author Jonathan Swift, Moitra added, "As the vilest writer has his readers, so the greatest liar has believers. And it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies and truth comes limping after it."
She further accused the Modi-led government of coining the term "Pappu", and took a swipe at the ruling party's president for having not won the elections in his home state—Himachal Pradesh.
Referring to the latest data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Moitra further argued that the country's industrial output shrunk by 4% per cent in October and asked,
"Who is the Pappu now?"
Finance Minister's Blazing Response to Moitra
During the Lok Sabha session on 14 December, Sitharaman responded to the allegations made by Moitra with the same zing.
On Moitra's question, about the funding being provided for government sector telecom company Bharatiya Sanchar Nagam Limited (BSNL) finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a detailed justification of the government's demand for supplementary grants, and responded with,
"There is no doubt, when there are wonderful schemes which can benefit common people, West Bengal sits over it and doesn't implement them. You don't need to search anywhere else for Pappu. Actually, if only the honourable member looks back into her own backyard, she will find Pappu in West Bengal."
In her rebuttal to Moitra, Sitharaman further said that it was the citizens, who have handed the BJP the 'matchstick' in a democratic fashion.
Attacking the TMC Member of Parliament, she added that when the BJP got mandate, it led to people getting free cooking gas, increased electricity connections, annual cash of Rs 6000 to farmers. On the contrary, TMC's mandate in Bengal led to "arson, looting, rape and burning of houses of BJP workers" in West Bengal.
The finance minister also added that the union government could not release the funds under MNREGA scheme to West Bengal as the Mamata Banerjee-led government had not replied to the complaints of funds being misused in the state.