New Delhi, Nov 15: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Yashwant Sinha again targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over demonetisation and roll-out of Goods and Service Tax (GST). Speaking at a function in Gujarat, Yashwant Sinha compared PM Narendra Modi to Muhammad bin Tughlaq and said that the country can rightly ask Arun Jaitley to quit for imposing ‘deeply flawed’ GST.
Taking a dig at PM Narendra Modi over demonetisation, Yashwant Sinha said, “There were many ‘shahenshah’ (king) who brought their own currency. Some even kept previous currency in circulation while introducing the new one. But, there was a shahenshah 700 years back, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, who introduced his own (currency) while discontinuing the old currency.”
“Thus, we can say that demonetisation was done 700 years back. Though Tughlaq is infamous for shifting his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, he has also done demonetisation,” he added. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, who ruled the Delhi Sultanate for a short period of time in the 14th century, was known for his controversial decisions like shifting the capital of the Sultanate from Delhi to Daulatabad and introducing non-precious metal currency.
The former finance minister, who has been criticising the Modi government’s economic policies, made another scathing attack on Arun Jaitley and said the finance minister believes in only one rule, “that is ‘chitt bhi meri patt bhi meri’, means heads I win, tails you lose.” “He cannot take credit for imposing on the country a deeply flawed tax system, and people of this country are well within their right to demand that he should lose his job,” Sinha said.
Yashwant Sinha set off a political storm by writing a stinging critique against Jaitley’s management of the economy and held him personally responsible for the continuing economic downturn. In his article in The Indian Express, Sinha said that sector after sector of the economy was in distress and the November 8 demonetisation had proved to be an “unmitigated economic disaster”. “I shall be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the finance minister (Arun Jaitley) has made of the economy,” Sinha wrote in his article headlined ‘I need to speak up now’.
Arun Jaitley, however, defended the government policies and said he does not have the luxury of being a former finance minister. Taking a dig at the former finance minister, Jaitley at a book release programme said, “I must confess that I do not have the luxury as yet of being a former finance Minister nor do I have the luxury of being a former finance minister who has turned a columnist. Therefore, I can conveniently forget a policy paralysis, four billion reserve left in 1991 and I can switch over and change a narrative. Speaking on persons and then bypassing the issues is something which is very easily done.”