Taking issue with Mahua Moitra’s attack on the Modi government, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit back on Wednesday saying that “Pappu” can be found in West Bengal and the “maachis” of the people’s mandate that Mamata Banerjee won caused arson and looting.
Also in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman pointed out the difference between Gujarat and West Bengal post-election results.
After the BJP won the Gujarat elections, the state was peaceful, but after the TMC won the West Bengal elections in 2021, there were “arson, looting, rape, and burning of houses of our party workers,” the minister said.
A Loktantra chant says, “Janata sarkar me maachis dethi hain.” It’s like, prashan nahi hona chahiye ki haath mein maachis kisne di, asli prashan to yeh hai ki maachis ka upayog kis prakar kiya gaya (In democracy, people give matchsticks to the government). Sitharaman said the question shouldn’t be who gave them, but how they were used).
Earlier this week, Moitra criticized the government over certain macroeconomic data and said it’s not who started the fire, but who gave the “mad man” the maachis.
“Hamare haath main jab maachis thee,” Sitharaman said during the debate on the supplementary grant demand, as well as “humne Ujjawala diya, humne Ujala diya, humne PM Kisan diya, humne Swachh Bharat Abhiyan chalaya”, (when we got the mandate, we gave out free cooking gas, electricity connections, Rs 6,000 to farmers, and started a clean India campaign).
When the TMC got the “maachis”, there was arson, looting, rape, and burning of BJP workers’ houses, the finance minister said.
“Aab apke haath main aaya maachis, arson hua, looting hua, rape hua,” she said, and she also mentioned the attack on Union Minister Muraleedharan’s car in West Bengal in 2021.
During the debate in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Moitra took aim at the government’s economic management and the BJP’s shielding of rape victims.
According to her, the question is not who started the fire, but who gave the matches to the “mad man” since certain macroeconomic data has declined.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is called ‘Pappu’ by BJP supporters.
Taking it back, Sitharaman said the macro-economic fundamentals are being questioned.
There’s a question about the Pappu, where the Pappu is. Actually, Pappu is in West Bengal if the honorable member looks back into her own past.
“There is no doubt that when there are wonderful schemes that could benefit common people, West Bengal sits over it and doesn’t (implement) them… You don’t have to look anywhere else for Pappu,” he said.
In her reply, Sitharaman also said West Bengal hasn’t responded to complaints about misuse of funds under the rural job guarantee scheme MNREGA.
According to the MNREGA Act, the federal government can’t release funds until the state gives it the explanation it needs.
According to the minister, India’s economy is growing faster than any other major economy in the world.