Can't Blame Nehru, Indira for State of Economy, Says Sena; Slams FM's 'Childish' Onion Remark

News18.com

New Delhi: Taking a dig at the BJP-led Central government over onion price rise and the state of economy, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the current government is not ready to listen to economists.

In its mouthpiece Saamana, Sena dubbed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s response to the steep rise in the price of kitchen staple as ‘childish’.

"At present, the economy is slowing down. But the government is not ready to accept. The prices of onion have reached Rs 200 per kilogram. The Finance Minister has also given a very childish answer on this issue. She said I do not eat onion-garlic, so do not ask me about onions,” the party said.

Stepping up the attack on its erstwhile ally BJP, Sena said, "Pandit Nehru (Jawaharlal Nehru) and Indira Gandhi cannot be held responsible for the apocalyptic destruction of the country's economy. The present government is not in a mood to listen to the experts. For them, the economy is like a stock market that has become speculative."

The government wants the finance minister, RBI governor, finance secretary and Niti Ayog chairman under its control, it claimed, adding that this is the main reason for the country's "poor" economic health.

The economy is "paralysed" and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's "diagnosis" is absolutely correct, the Shiv Sena said.

During the debate over rising onion prices in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman last week made an unexpected revelation that the kitchen staple is not a part of her family's diet.

"I don't eat a lot of onions and garlic, so don't worry. I come from a family that doesn't care much about onions and garlic," she said on Wednesday while replying to a question by Supriya Sule. Her surprising remark ended up drawing laughter from her colleagues in the Lower House.

The Sena said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "not trying" to improve the situation.

"When he was the chief minister of Gujarat, he had expressed concern over the rising onion prices," it noted. The Sena claimed that when Modi was the CM of Gujarat, he had said onion is an essential commodity and it has become so costly that it will have tobe "kept in lockers".

"The situation has changed and Modi is now the prime minister and the economy is in a 'crisis'. An unconscious person is brought back to senses by being made to smell onion, but this is not possible now since onions have disappeared from markets," it said in sarcastic comments.

The Sena also blamed decisions like demonetisation and "unnecessary focus" on projects such as the bullet train for the current economic situation.

(With PTI inputs)