From not eating onions to UPA barbs, Sitharaman's controversial comments
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is presently all over the news for her controversial remarks and opinionated views on various topics. The latest is her justification for the price rise, which prompted the opposition to mock her and launch a scathing attack on the central government. Here, we detail some of her remarks in the parliament and outside which invited controversy and criticism.
During the Lok Sabha discussion on price rise recently, Sitharaman stated, "The pandemic, second wave of COVID, Omicron, Russia-Ukraine, in spite of all this we have held the inflation at 7 percent or below." She compared the current retail inflation rate to the rate during the UPA administration. Congress staged a walkout in the middle of her speech, claiming she was justifying inflation.
In February this year, the finance minister came under attack from the Congress party for terming a minister's response to Rahul Gandhi's comments on the Union Budget as a 'typical UP-type' answer. Reacting to remarks on Gandhi, Sitharaman said, "I think he has given that typical UP-type of an answer which is good enough for an MP who ran away from UP."
There is no GST on withdrawal of cash from banks, says FM Sitharaman in Rajya Sabha— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 2, 2022
In 2020, Sitharaman blamed the COVID-19 pandemic — which she called an "act of God" — for the GST revenue shortfall, and said her government was unable to pay the dues that it owes to the states. Her remarks invited severe criticism from the Opposition, especially Left parties, which slammed her, terming it "unethical" and "obnoxious" to push the responsibility entirely on the states.
In 2019, Sitharaman earned a tag of being an 'elite' after saying that the onion prices didn't affect her much as she didn't eat the vegetable. "I don't eat a lot of onions and garlic, so don't worry. I come from a family that doesn't care much for onions," she had said, during a debate over skyrocketing prices of onions.
Sitharaman was at the center of a parliamentary spat between the BJP and the Congress over 'Rashtrapatni' remarks made by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury regarding President Droupadi Murmu. She also led a parliamentary protest and sought an apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi. On Monday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had to expunge references to Gandhi made by Sitharaman on July 28.