Arun Jaitley on Sunday slammed the state government, saying that while it had fallen into a debt trap along with two other states, (Punjab and Maharashtra), it was still pursuing populist policies aimed at gaining votes.
The Union Minister for Finance and Defence was speaking at an intellectuals’ meet in Kolkata organised by the state BJP.
“The state is in such a position that it has to spend most of the money it gets as revenue for repayment of its interest and it is hardly left with any money for development work. The Left is partly responsible for the situation. But the TMC government has not brought about any change in its fiscal policies. In fact, there is no difference between the policies of the Left and that of the TMC,” Jaitley said.
The Union Minister also said that while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had gone to Singapore to attract foreign investment, she is opposed to FDI in defence. “Almost 72 per cent of the arms we use are imported fron outside. We thought we would manufacture them here with foreign investment. It was the Left and the TMC which opposed them. When I asked they said they were opposing it because they did not want foreign money. Now I ask what did Mamataji ask for in Singapore. Was it not foreign investment?” Jaitley asked.
He also said the TMC had sent out a wrong message by driving out the Tatas. “You sent wrong messages to investors. How can you expect them now?” Jaitley asked.
He also said the BJP would fill the place left vacant by the Marxists. “The Left is a spent force. They lost the Assembly elections and in the LS elections they were no where. It is the BJP which could take that place. Nobody had imagined we would get 73 seats in Uttar Pradesh and 283 seats in Lok Sabha,” Jaitley said.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.