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Sitharaman raises 10 questions on Rahul’s speech in Parliament

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS): Raising questions against former Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s act of associating himself with “Break India” fringe group ideologies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday accused him of making “fake narratives” for lowering the country’s image and posed 10 questions linked to his speech on farm laws in Parliament two days ago.

As the Finance Minister was replying on the discussion on the Union Budget 2021-22 in the Lok Sabha, she chose to raise questions on Rahul Gandhi’s Thursday speech in the house which only focused on the farmers’ protest issue and not the Union Budget.

Sitharaman asked whether the Congress is joining the fringe groups having a “Break India” thinking and alleged that Rahul as well as his party is “continuously” spreading “fake narratives”.

The minister recalled how Rahul chose to comment only on the farmers‘ issue in his speech arguing that it was also part of the Budget discussion.

Beginning her series of questions on his “foundation” remark, Sitharaman said she first expected Gandhi to explain the Congress‘s u-turn on farm reforms as similar promises were part of the party’s election manifesto earlier.

She returned back with similar ‘Hum do, Hamare do’ remark of the Congress leader with MNREGA data and other schemes, accusing the party of using schemes only to benefit itself and lacking with its implementations.

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In his remarks against the government, Rahul had said, “Years ago there was a family planning slogan – ‘Hum do, Hamare do’ (we two and our two), but just like corona has returned in another form, this slogan too has made a comeback. Today, four people run the country – Hum do, Hamare do,” Gandhi had said without taking any names.

In her second question, Sitharaman mentioned why farm loan waiver was not implemented in Madhya Pradesh (when Congress was in power) and Rajasthan.

“I expected that Rahul Gandhi will explain about loan waiver in MP if he is really sympathetic to farmers’ issues,” Sitharaman said.

Punjab’s ‘Kala Kanoon” (black law) was the third question of the Finance Minister. “The provisions of the law were used in Punjab to send farmers to jail. I thought he would say he has asked Punjab CM to repeal that law.”

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Stubble burning was the fourth question of Sitharaman on which she said Rahul Gandhi failed to explain.

Talking about her fifth point hinting at the three farm laws on which Gandhi was speaking, the minister said she was expecting Gandhi to at least point out one clause of these laws that is anti-farmer.

The Finance Minister referred to Gandhi’s ‘Hum do, Hamare do’ jibe in her sixth point, saying “When PM Modi talked about small farmers, I expected Rahul Gandhi to announce that he had also asked ‘his two’ to return lands to farmers that were acquired at throwaway prices. But he didn’t do that.”

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On her seventh question, the minister said she had also expected the Congress leader to clarify that his party won’t dishonour its senior leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after Modi quoted him on farm reforms.

“I expected he would say why the Congress has started to forget Manmohan Singh’s ideas.”

She later challenged the Congress to show a single prof of any APMC being closed anywhere in the country. “I expected him to come up with at least one example.”

“This is not an expectation, but a question to Rahul Gandhi. Why does he choose to insult constitutional authorities?” Sitharaman asked while raking up the 2013 incident when Gandhi had trashed then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ordinance when Singh was abroad.

In her last point about “fake narratives”, the minister said, “Rahul Gandhi is identifying with the ‘Break India fringe groups’.”

“I remember what he said about the Covid-19 pandemic. I don’t want to waste the time of the House by repeating the same but in summary, it was like ‘I will continue to demean India’. The veteran leader is perhaps becoming the ‘doomsday man’ of India.”

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