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Congress' culture is to benefit 'jeejas and bhatijas': Sitharaman in Lok Sabha
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday made a strong attack on Congress over its criticism of the government, saying that the ruling coalition does not make policies keeping one person in mind and "we are not the party that supports 'jeejas and bhatijas.'"
The minister, who gave point-by-point answer to the questions raised by opposition members in her reply to the debate on union budget, referred to charges levelled by Congress and said such allegations will be "given back in the same language". With an opposition member referring to the budgetary provisions for clean energy alluding to Adani group's forays in the sector, Sitharaman hit back.
"Taking my name, they said that Nirmala Sitharaman allotted a certain amount for green for someone. We don't make policies keeping one person in mind unlike an opposition leader claimed. In PM Modi's government, we make policies keeping everyone in mind. So, such statements are absolutely wrong. I have been repeatedly the target of such language by the leader. I am not taking anybody's name because the leader is not around here now. Throw the allegation and go away," she said.
"If phone calls and allocations were made, if relations were given benefit, if jeejas and bhatijas got the benefit, it might be their culture. Under PM Modi, none of us does any of that. And therefore any such allegation will be given back in the same language," Sitharaman added.
In another dig at Congress, Sitharaman said its leaders should 'wash' their faces with 'Dettol' before they talk about corruption.
The Union Finance minister also hit out at states which did not reduce VAT on fuel even after the Centre decreased excise duty twice.
She asked Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi to ask his party, which is in power in Himachal Pradesh, why it hiked VAT on diesel after winning the Assembly elections.
"When the import price increased, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reduced the excise duty on petroluem products twice so as to reduce the price burden on the public. While we reduced the duty on fuel, there were states which did just the opposite. I want to name them," she said.
Replying to allegations about government's lack of concern for minorities, Sitharaman said there were massacres during earlier Congress regimes and cited Nellie masssacre in Assam and the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.
She accused Congress of vote-bank politics and said Modi government's welfare programmes were for all eligible people irrespective of any divisions. (ANI)