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Whose ‘Pakoda’ Is It Anyway? Amit Shah, Chidambaram Spar Over Jobs

In a recent interview, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said those who sell pakodas are actually employed.

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BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday tore into the Congress over its "failure" to tackle unemployment while it was in power, among other problems. He denigrated their criticism of the GST, saying it was not a 'Gabbar Singh Tax' but that the revenues go to pay for the 'One Rank, One Pension' policy and subsidiaries for the poor.

In his maiden address in the Rajya Sabha, he also asked whether the Congress was inciting the people not to pay taxes, as he listed the NDA government's achievements on various fronts.

Initiating the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the President's address, Shah took on senior Congress leader P Chidambaram for his 'pakoda' jibe and said it was better to sell pakodas than be unemployed.

The jab came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a recent interview that a person selling pakodas was employed.

It is better for a youth to earn his living selling pakodas instead of being unemployed. Making pakodas is not shameful, what is shameful is comparing such a person with a beggar.
Amit Shah, BJP MP

Countering Shah’s barb, P Chidambaram, in an exclusive interview to The Quint, said his remark wasn’t made with the intention of deriding those who resort to the sale of pakodas. Chidambaram maintained that India’s youth are being forced to sell pakodas as they have no other means of livelihood.

I am not decrying pakoda selling. But listen to what young men selling pakodas are saying. Do they want to sell pakodas? They protested against PM Modi’s rally in Karnataka, wearing their graduate gowns. A graduate doesn’t want to sell pakodas. He is doing that because he has nothing else, nothing better to do.
P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister

The former Finance Minister further added that selling pakodas doesn’t amount to having a job. He cited the ILO definition of a job, which involves a form of regularity in salary and a sense of job security.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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