With former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha reiterating his analysis that the economy is in a mess and showing no signs of revival before 2019, party leaders rallied to defend the BJP-led government’s economic policies.
“Yashwant Sinha is not an economist, but an Anarth Shastri (disaster pundit),” Virendra Singh Mast, BJP MP and Kisan Morcha chief, told The Indian Express.
Rejecting Sinha’s arguments, Singh said the Narendra Modi government has been taking a slew of measures for farmers and the poor, and that farmers in the country are not facing any trouble.
As the war of words over Sinha’s opinion piece published in The Indian Express on Wednesday intensified, BJP circles were abuzz with the “reasons” for Sinha’s outburst against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Sources pointed out that the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the labour wing of the RSS, had earlier this week criticised the government for continuing the UPA regime’s policies and blamed this for the economic slowdown.
Bhadohi MP Virendra Singh, said: “When he (Sinha) was finance minister, I too was a part of the agitation led by
Dattopant Thengadi (founder of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch or SJM, economic wing of RSS) against his policies. Thengadiji had called him Anarth Mantri, I fully support it and stand by the view even today,” he said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said that although his organisation had reservations about the government’s economic policies, he would not agree with Sinha’s views.
“We have differences with the government over its economic policies. But we have more differences with Yashwant Sinha. He has not mentioned job generation or development of the poor. Development does not means good numbers in growth,” he said.
Mahajan maintained that the SJM had serious differences with the basic development model of the NDA government.
“The GDP-oriented model will not serve any purpose. Our reservation is that this government follows the same model as that of former governments, including the UPA. They are not following the Deendayal Upadhyaya model, though the initiatives for the poor are good,” he said, adding that the SJM believes the current slowdown is momentary.