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‘Former friend’ of BJP, A Raja flays Budget: Says ‘We are weeping’
National

‘Former friend’ of BJP, A Raja flays Budget: Says ‘We are weeping’

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 10 : A former Union Minister who served in both NDA and UPA regimes and also jailed over the corruption issue, A Raja, has flayed Budget 2019 expressing his dissatisfaction and stated that he is left “weeping”.

“....there is a decrease of Rs 7,424 crore in Tamil Nadu’s share of tax. Not only that, it’s GST share of Rs. 7,214 crore has not been released so far. They (AIADMK) are in your alliance. You wanted to accommodate them in the Cabinet itself. Is it fair on your part to treat Tamil Nadu government like this? Not at all. We are weeping, though we are not in power,” the DMK lawmaker from Nilgiris has said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Participating in the Budget debate, Mr Raja, who served as MoS for Rural Development and Health under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, sounded sarcastic towards BJP-led regime and went onto remark: “With folded hands, I want to advise my young colleague. …This Government came to power not because of its performance.”

Elected for the first time in 1996, Raja was Minister of State for Rural development from 1996 to 2000 and Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare from September 2000 to May 2004. Mr Raja was in Tihar jail for about 15 months after his role in 2G Spectrum case came under scanner along with other DMK leaders. He as well as others in his party was later acquitted in 2017.

Raja also has said during Budget discussion that the Modi government promised that black money will be returned to India and maintained finally “it has not been done”.  He further has said: “You promised ten crore jobs. It has not been done at all. You promised double digit GDP. It did not happen at all. Then, for what purpose did you come here? Some people are thinking that this is a Hindutva or religious-oriented phenomenon. I do not believe this”.

In the ultimate, Raja maintained: “This Government came to power because you projected that you are the only saviour and ‘Chowkidar’ who could protect this country. I can say that ultimately what has happened is there is slow-down in growth, rise in unemployment, rise in NPAs in the banks”. After he was jailed on February 2, 2011, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh had said Raja was a 'former friend' as they all worked together in the Council of Ministry under Vajpayee.

Jaswant Singh was also critical of the legal system when bail was denied to Raja and had said - "Bail by itself is a citizen's right unless he is charged with such a crime like murder that it must not be permitted".

But in recent times as politics have undergone sea change and DMK is now an ally of Congress, after the just concluded parliamentary polls, Raja has termed BJP's victory in 2019 as ‘the most dangerous’ phenomenon for India. (UNI)