With barbs like ‘jumla package’ and ‘dramabazi’, the politics of the poor versus the rich has kicked in over the Centre’s financial package.
Announcing the fifth and final tranche of financial package, FM Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS Finance Anurag Thakur claimed that the Government has taken all measures to ameliorate a lot of people in the last two months of coronavirus crisis. Sitharaman hit out at Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi in wake of the sustained campaign by the Opposition party, raising questions on the government’s handling of the COVID-19 management.
“Why do Congress-ruled states not request for more trains so that more migrants can reach home? They call us dramebaaz. What about yesterday? They sat beside migrants who were walking back home and spoke to them. That is dramabaazi…it would have been better if he had walked alongside migrants, holding their children and suitcases,” Sitharaman said during her press briefing.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala slammed the Finance Minister for his “dramebazi” comment on Rahul Gandhi’s visit calling the insult of the labourers.
Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said, “It is clear that the Government has no strategy to improve the situation and bring the economy back on rails. What the Prime Minister had promised was a package of Rs 20 lakh crore, what the Finance Minister has announced is credit that cannot be called financial support or stimulus.”.
Sitharaman wondered why the Congress-ruled states are not asking for more trains to send more migrants safely back home. Urging political parties with folded hands to refrain from politicising the plight of migrant workers and behave responsibly on the issue “I ask Sonia Gandhi ji; let us speak and deal with our migrants more responsibly.”
Soon after the FM’s press conference, Priyanka Gandhi, who had earlier sought permission for plying one thousand workers to ferry migrant labourers, renewed her request asking UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to allow Congress workers to ferry migrants in these buses. She told the CM “this is no time for politics”.
Former UP Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav raised the contrast between the “palace of power (satta ka mahal)” and the foundation of the faith of the poor to highlight that the poor are at the receiving end of the pandemic while the government is doing everything for the rich.
Surjewala has called the package a ‘jumla package’, Ahmed Patel said it is not economic but empty package and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh the package “bogus” asking how many more ‘jumlas” India will endure and asked what more “gimmickry and recycling remains”. In remarks laced with sarcasm, he mocked the atma nirbhar pitch made by the Prime Minister and asked Sitharaman to shed lights on the basics of ‘atma nirbhar arthashastra’ as the Union Ministers in last five press briefings o the package harped on gaaon gareeb kisan Mazdoor pitch.
CPI-M slammed the government over opening up FDI in the defence sector to 74 percent and raised questions about the government’s commitment to national security. CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury accused the government of using the pandemic to push the agenda of the rich.
“More avenues for loot to his Cronies, foreign & domestic corporations is Modi and his govt’s best Covid cure! What has whittling down the public sector, even in “notified strategic areas”, got to do with the Covid crisis?,” asked CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.