Yashwant Sinha Goes All Out: ‘Modi Like Tughlaq, Jaitley a Burden’
Sinha compared the PM to Tughlaq, and held Jaitley “directly responsible” for the “anomalies” in the GST rollout.
Former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha took a series of digs at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his tour of Gujarat over the past week.
Sinha likened the prime minister to the 14th century Delhi sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq for his implementation of demonetisation at a talk in Ahmedabad. The controversial sultan had introduced non-precious metal currency 700 years ago, while imposing a ban on the existing coins of the period. At another event in the state on 14 November, the former minister also called Jaitley “a burden on Gujarat”.
In an interview in The Hindu published on Wednesday, the veteran BJP leader expressed that every rollback regarding GST was an admission of failure by the Modi government and Jaitley.
His criticism against the BJP government at the Centre has become more strident after his strong critique of Arun Jaitley’s performance as the finance minister, earlier in September. In a column published in The Indian Express, Sinha wrote that he would be “failing his national duty” if he didn’t speak of the “mess” made of the economy by Jaitley.
After his column was published, Sinha told The Quint that there was a “problem” in the way GST was designed and implemented. He added that since Gujarat is a commercial state heavily involved in business, it has been heavily affected by the implementation of GST.
“If mistakes are committed in implementation, then lives will be destroyed”, Sinha had said, in The Quint interview.
“Jaitley a Burden on Gujarat”
Taking his criticism against the implementation of GST forward in poll-bound Gujarat, Sinha held Jaitley “directly responsible” for the “anomalies” in the GST implementation.
Addressing a public forum in Ahmedabad on 14 November, Sinha called Jaitley, who is elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, a “burden” on the state, reported the Indian Express.
In the same event, Sinha also criticised Jaitley for taking “credit” for imposing a “deeply flawed” tax system, and suggested that people must “demand” that he should lose his job.
While Sinha had not demanded Jaitley’s resignation when the column was published in The Indian Express in September, he did so in an an interview published by The Hindu on 15 November.
Explaining why he is now calling for Jaitley to lose his job, he said:
A month ago I had said I was not calling for his resignation, but given the kind of admission of the fact that the original scheme for GST was deeply flawed, then its quite obvious that this Finance Minister should not continue in his post.
On Personal Relationship With Jaitley
In the same Hindu interview, Sinha said that he had an “excellent” relationship with Jaitley, but not of late.
Sinha Likens Modi to Tuglaq Over Demonetisation
Launching an attack at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, in another event in Gujarat, Sinha said even the 14th century Delhi sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq, had implemented note ban 700 years ago.
He said that there were “many ‘shahenshas’ (king) who brought their own currency”, and some even kept previous currency in circulation while introducing the new one.
Citing a report by the 'Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy', the veteran BJP leader claimed that the direct cost of demonetisation would come around Rs 1,28,000 crore.
If we considered that the economy had slowed down by 1.5 percent due to note ban, Sinha said, it would amount to a dent of Rs 2,25,000 crore.
Criticising Modi for the controversial move, Sinha claimed that demonetisation had hit the economy to the tune of Rs 3.75 lakh crore.
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