File photo of Subramanian Swamy | Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg
File photo of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy | Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget has come under criticism from within the BJP itself. In a calibrated attack on Twitter, BJP’s Subramanian Swamy picked holes in the budget by quoting paragraphs with comments like “Hare Ram” and “Sweet dreams”.

Swamy seems to be mocking Sitharaman, who is widely believed to a protégé of the former finance minister Arun Jaitley.


Swami, who is a vocal critic of Jaitley, refused to comment on his tweets when ThePrint contacted him.

Why should the party get involved, asks BJP

BJP leaders have chosen to not engage in the twitter controversy.

“It is not an economic issue and would be best if you clarify what he means by his tweets from him. Why should party get involved,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity.

“In all likelihood, he may have heard it (speech) incomplete or hasn’t read the paragraphs properly,” added another party leader.

Swamy’s offensive against Sitharaman is, however, not new. Last month, Swamy had attacked Sitharaman for the government’s decision to ‘compulsorily retire’ senior Income Tax department officer Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, along with 11 others.

Srivastava had spearheaded the investigation against NDTV and former finance minister P. Chidambaram.


Also read: Why India’s middle classes are Modi’s ‘Muslims


‘I believe we should not be obsessing over figures’

Swamy’s attack on the numbers projected and placed in the Parliament by the Modi government also seems to give credibility to those who presented a contrarian picture of the GDP figures.

Recently, former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian in a research paper titled ‘India’s GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitude, Mechanisms and Implications’, had argued that India’s GDP for the period 2011-12 to 2016-17 is likely to have been over-estimated.

Nirupama Soundararajan, an economist with the Pahle India Foundation, said that Sitharaman had clearly mentioned in her budget speech that India would become a $3-trillion economy by the end of this year.

“I think Swamy may have not heard the words ‘by the end of this year’. I believe we should not be obsessing over the figure,” Soundararajan said.

“Having said that, I think 5 trillion claim seems to be a huge stretch. As regard to his second tweet about discrepancy he had cited regarding GDP and Purchasing Power Parity, I believe he is not right. Both can be different and what FM meant was GDP in absolute terms. When I heard her, I didn’t see any incongruity,” she added.


Also read: Arun Jaitley writes Budget 2019 blends good economics & politics, like in Modi’s first term


 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Dr Swamy is the greatest economist who never became a Nobel laureate. He has an outstanding mind and strong values imbibed in his worldview.

    He has studied economic histories of different countries from different ages and has mathematically created indices along with Dr Samuelson to predict behavior of a nation’s economy in rational ways.

    He’s the greatest economist India could never have as either PM or FM.

  2. Carry on Dr Swami ! It will be a sad day for India when you decide to hang up your boots . Endless entertainment!!

  3. Su Swaamy is, have been and Will Always Be, a Back Seat Driver! Like a Cricket Commentator, he always gives crisp advice’s AFTER THE BALL IS BOWLED!! He Tweets while loafing around the Commentator Box, not entering (dare to enter!) the turf as a Captain, a Bowler, a Batsman, a Fielder, an Umpire or even a Twefthman!!Even a bottle if Wine ages to a valuable beverage!!

  4. Swami always speaks on solid understanding the fact.
    He could be the best FM
    He will speak bitter but Truth.

  5. यह हार्वर्ड यूनिवर्सिटी के प्रोफेसर हैं तो हार्वर्ड यूनिवर्सिटी का क्या हाल होगा ! ये तो कोई जिम्मेदारी देने लायक नहीं हैं। बस ट्विट किया करें। माफ़ करें भाषण पूरा सुना पूरी तरह साफ और सही बात कही गई है। शेखर गुप्ता फिर बकवास कर रहे हैं मध्यम वर्ग के लिए क्या आयकर की दर ही सब कुछ है। तीन दशक पुरानी सोच को बदलना होगा। आयकर दाता होने के फायदे भी बताएं।

  6. Swamy’s criticism seems to become very personal or personality based. It doesn’t speak well of his age.

  7. Swamy’s comments are seen more as Fox and sour grapes. Without listening or understanding what is spoken makes comments thereby lowering his falling image further. Better he goes to China which is inviting him as claimed by him

  8. One change in the Budget I heartily endorse : Expressing figures in USD. $ 14 billion is easier to understand than one lac crores. Most of us would not know the difference between one lac crores and 100 lac crores, which is now the target for infrastructure. So it makes sense to say $ 1.5 trillion.

  9. One would not say Dr Swamy is the best FM India never had. His ambitions actually go a little higher. However, a Raj Bhavan, even on Malabar Hill, was merited.

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