Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha derides government's economic policiesLast updated on Sep 27, 2017, 04:00 pm
Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha lashed out at PM Modi and FM Arun Jaitley for making a "mess" of the economy.
In an IE op-ed, he claimed "I shall be failing in my national duty" if "I didn't speak up now." Moreover, he says these are sentiments of most BJP members but they are afraid to voice them.
Who is Yashwant Sinha?
Yashwant Sinha was a 1960 batch IAS officer.
In 1984, he left civil services to join the Janata Party under socialist Jayaprakash Narayan.
He also joined Chandra Shekhar's Janata Dal but later shifted loyalties to the BJP.
He served as India's FM in 1990-91 and 1998-2002 and MEA in 2002-2004.
Since 2009, Sinha, considered close to LK Advani, has been sidelined in the BJP.
Sinha urges that Jaitley is overburdened with ministries
Sinha called FM Jaitley "the brightest in this government."
His importance is proven because despite losing the LS elections, PM Modi asked him to handle the FM with ministry of corporate affairs, disinvestment department, and for some time, defense ministry.
Sinha said being an FM is a 24/7 job, and even "a superman like Jaitley can't do justice to it" if overloaded with ministries.
Sinha criticizes GST and demonetization
Sinha attacked government's demonetization decision calling it an "an unmitigated economic disaster."
He said the government is right in saying that demonetization is not responsible for the slowdown of growth.
Instead, demonetization just added "fuel to the fire" as the slowdown had begun long before.
He said "a badly conceived and poorly implemented GST" has affected businesses and many individuals have lost their jobs.
Sinha pulls up government for not providing correct GDP projections
Sinha said government's projection of 5.7% growth rate is according to the new method of calculating GDP, adopted in 2015.
This methodology changed the base year and calculated GDP as per market price rather than factor cost, i.e., it considered government's earnings through indirect taxes minus subsidies.
As per the earlier method, India's growth rate stands at an abysmal "3.7 per cent or less."
Opposition reacts sharply after Sinha's jibes
After Sinha's critique, the opposition reacted sharply.
Congress leader P Chidambaram, former FM, tweeted "Yashwant Sinha speaks Truth to Power. Will Power now admit the Truth that economy is sinking?" and "ETERNAL TRUTH: No matter what Power does, ultimately Truth will prevail."
Rahul Gandhi also took a jibe at Jaitley saying 'This is your copilot and FM… Brace for landing'.
Meanwhile, Sinha has spoken against his own party before
Earlier too, Sinha has spoken against his own party.
In 2015, he along with other senior leaders blamed the party's top leadership, i.e., Modi and Amit Shah, for BJP's Bihar loss.
He had criticized Modi of pushing for NSG membership, though it was not required.
Further, he pulled up the government for failing to fulfill its promise of dialogue with all Kashmir stakeholders.
Other BJP leaders
Earlier, Swami and Shourie had criticized the government's demonetization move
The government had earlier faced criticism from senior BJP leaders Subramanian Swamy and Arun Shourie.
Swamy was "appalled" at the FM's "alleged lack of preparedness" in dealing with demonetization.
Shourie ridiculed that demonetization was a radical measure saying "jumping into well or committing suicide" are also radical measures.
As Modi faces criticism within his party ranks, he may have to rethink his economic policies.