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Congress accuses FM of apathy towards economy

A day after the government released its inflation data, the party says the finance minister is busy tweeting pictures from the NASA’s webb telescope rather than explaining to the country how she plans to rein in inflationary trends.

Anjali Bhatia | New Delhi |

A day after the government released its inflation data, the Congress, on Wednesday, hit out at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accusing her of lackadaisical attitude towards country’s economy. The party said she is more interested in Uranus and Pluto than in steering the country’s economy to recovery.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the finance minister was busy tweeting pictures from the NASA’s webb telescope rather than explaining to the country how she plans to rein in inflationary trends.

Sitharaman had, on Tuesday, retweeted images unveiled by the NASA from its new powerful space telescope.

Vallabh also accused the Modi government of polarising society and creating disharmony instead of tackling rising inflation, unemployment and depreciating Rupee.

The Congress leader said with such data on rising inflation, it was expected that the finance minister would come out with a plan to tackle inflation, but she has different priorities.

”She has an interest in Pluto, Jupiter and Uranus. Unfortunately, our finance minister is showing the way to Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter and is unable to show the way forward to our economy,” he told reporters.

”It has become very evident in the last eight years where the focus of the BJP government has been. Polarisation and disharmony have taken a front seat whereas distressing issues such as rising inflation, unemployment and depreciating Rupee are nowhere on its agenda. The country witnessed the highest unemployment in the last 45 years,” he alleged.

Vallabh also alleged that the BJP has brought about a ”doom with 7s”, with retail inflation at 7.01 percent, unemployment at 7.8 percent and Rupee depreciated 7 percent in the last six months vs the US Dollar. ”While these are worrying data points, the BJP government is in deep slumber,” he said.

”What has the government done to bring relief to the common Indian as far as inflation is concerned,” he asked, noting that increasing GST on items such as flour will only propel inflation. The Congress leader also asked why there is a complete silence on the part of the Modi Government on the issue of tackling a barrage of macro-economic indicators going wrong.

With the RBI’s projection for inflation at 7.4 percent for the next quarter, he asked what the measures that the government has in mind are.

”Any government can bring relief to the common mass only when sympathy leads over apathy. The ED and CBI are not tools that bring relief. Unless the BJP government moves beyond petty politics and starts looking beyond ED politics, common Indians will continue suffering,” he alleged.