NEW DELHI: Veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today said he had sought to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi a year ago, but is yet to get an appointment. After his extreme indictment of the government’s role in the economic slowdown, the 79-year-old has also said, “I stand by my analysis.”
“I had sought an appointment to meet the PM a year ago. He has not met me. Should I be sitting in protest outside his house,” Mr Sinha, a former finance minister, said this morning to NDTV, adding, “No one is willing to listen to us in the government and the party.”
To news agency ANI, Yashwant Sinha, said “short-sighted” decisions are being rushed by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that there is no denying that the economy has hit a rough spot. “We used to blame the UPA (previous government) for policy paralysis… after 40 months in power, we can’t (still) blame the earlier government,” he said.
Mr Sinha stung his party yesterday with an opinion piece titled “I Need To Speak Up Now” in which he demolished Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his handling of the economy, which fell to a three-year-low of 5.7 per cent in the last quarter.
The government rejected his assessment. “Under the decisive leadership of PM Modi, India has become the world’s fastest-growing economy for three years in a row,” said union minister Piyush Goyal.
This morning, Mr Sinha’s son, Jayant Sinha, who is a union minister, wrote an article for the Times of India in which he countered his father, declaring that criticism of the economy in recent articles “draw sweeping conclusions from a narrow set of facts, and quite simply miss the fundamental structural reforms that are transforming the economy.”
His father today said that claims of the last quarter as an anomaly to the government’s economic accomplishments cannot be accepted because the economy has been sliding for years now. He also repeated his criticism of the government’s rushed introduction of the landmark GST or national sales tax, stating that its hurried implementation is hurting businesses.
Yashwant Sinha is one of several senior BJP leaders, including LK Advani, who were sidelined by the party after PM Modi’s led the BJP to victory in the 2014 national election. The BJP has dismissed his criticism as motivated by his frustration at being marginalised.