“I don’t want to take the level of this debate to a Class 8 school boys’ debate,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram said dismissing criticism of his interim budget by Narendra Modi.
“What does he mean by a decade of decay? The fact is that we are delivering growth above the trend growth rate. I have pointed out that the growth rate in 1999-2004 was below the trend growth rate. “In the last 33 years, the last decade (under UPA) has been the best decade for growth. Now these are facts. Now he (Modi) likes fake encounter with facts. I don’t think the media should join and repeat his tweets,” Chidambaram said. He was asked about Modi’s reaction to his interim budget yesterday calling it “a final act of misery after a decade of decay.”
On Monday, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate had tweeted: “The only solace one gets from the vote-on-account is that this was UPA’s final act of misery after a decade of decay & policy paralysis.” When asked about the other comment of Modi that it was “upto the people to decide whether the Economist PM & FM have been ‘hard working’ or ‘hardly working’,” Chidambaram shot back, “I don’t want to take the level of this debate to a Class 8 boys’ debate.”
Chidambaram and Modi have been locked in a war of words over economy. The Finance Minister was critical of Modi’s knowledge of economy when he said it can be written on back of postal stamp. Asked about this comment, the Minister said, “What he (Modi) had said on that day betrayed a lack of understanding and therefore I used that phrase about writing on the back of a postage stamp.
“ But if he articulates himself, then we can engage him in a debate. If a persons refuses to spell out his views on economics what else can you say.” Modi had accused Chidambaram of mishandling economy and taunted him a few days ago saying that high growth rate in Gujarat was because of his hard work and not education in Harvard University. On Monday Chidambaram hit back at Modi in his Budget speech saying, “My mother and Harvard taught me the value of hard work.”