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Tharoor’s bouquets and brickbats for FM
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Tharoor’s bouquets and brickbats for FM

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 8 : Lok Sabha on Monday took up the general discussion on Budget presented on the floor of the House on July 5 with the Congress member Shashi Tharoor complimenting Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for being the second woman in history to present the annual fiscal proposals but also slammed her presenting a 'Trishanku Budget'.

".....and on behalf of my party, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for the honourable Finance Minister for recreating history," Mr Tharoor said initiating the debate and recalled that the first woman leader to do so was Indira Gandhi in 1970. However, he said as a traditional practice of the opposition to hold the government accountable, he ought to scrutinize the Budget 2019-20 presented by FM Sitharaman minutely.

Maintaining that it was a "marvelous touch" on the part of the Finance Minister to bring Tamil poetry in the House; but he in his irresistible said - "I cannot resist pointing out her metaphor (on elephant walking into the paddy field) accurately" talks about her government as a "slow moving elephant".

"While we all were hoping for agile tiger....sadly this Budget has incrementalism and falls considerably short of unleashing the animal spirit," he said but maintained Ms Sitharaman personally cannot be blamed entirely for the same.

The Congress leader went onto claim that Ms Sitharaman in fact has inherited only a "legacy of economic mismanagement" left by the BJP-led NDA in last five years. He referred to the "disastrous demonetisation" and maintained there was agrarian distress and a high unemployment rate under the NDA regime led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ".....There was widespread stagnation in every area from manufacturing to export," Mr Tharoor alleged adding "the Budget 2019 had unnecessary defensive strokes, dropped catches and quite a few no balls".

"It was like a Trishanku Budget....neither here nor there," the Congress MP said. To counter him, BJP fielded Jayant Sinha, a former Minister of State for Finance in the previous regime. Mr Sinha told Mr Tharoor that contrary to what he said the Budget presented by FM Ms Sitharaman is forward looking.

He also counseled that the opposition members should avoid driving simply by staring towards the rear-view mirror.

Mr Sinha said when the BJP-led NDA came to power in 2014, the country's economy was like a 'passenger train' and "we dragged it on the right track and under the stewardship of Arun Jaitley, in the last five years, we could make it a Rajdhani Mail". "This Budget is with a far-sighted vision and I would like to compliment the incumbent Finance Minister that when we leave, we will make this Rajdhani mail turned into a bullet locomotive," Mr Sinha said amid thumping of desks by the members in the treasury bench. (UNI)