A day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman kicked up a storm of hashtags on social media following her insinuation that "millennials" using Uber and Ola services was to blame for decline of the auto industry, an old interview of businessman Anand Mahindra has been doing the rounds on Twitter again.
In 2015, Chairperson of Mahindra Group had said the same thing.
"The age of access being offered by taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Ola is the biggest potential threat to auto industry. Since these apps operators have made transpiration a commodity, (auto) sales could be hit and volumes get impacted," PTI quoted Mahindra as saying. He had been speaking to reporters after M&M's first compact SUV, TUV300, from the company's plant in Chakan, Pune when he said it.
"...a lot of youngsters who can own vehicles today don't want to own one, but only need access to transportation," Mahindra had said.
The old report resurfaced on Twitter on Tuesday after Sitharaman said a at a press conference that one of the major factors behind the slowdown in the auto sector has been the change in the mindset of millennials. Her comments had drawn many memes and jokes on Twitter. Members of Congress also spoke up against the Finance Minister.
"Yes..that's great. Blame the voters..blame everyone but BJP's handling of the economy Mrs Finance Minister." Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the INC tweeted.
The official handle of the INC also tweeted several memes and floated the hashtag #BaharatiyaJokeParty to take a swipe at Sitharaman.
However, as Mahindra's previous comments resurfaced, many on the internet outraged against the selective trolling of Sitharaman by Congress when the same had remained quiet when others had said it.
On automobile industry's reduced sales, FM @nsitharaman's comments echo global views on millenials' lifestyles & the impact of aggregators, eg #Ola & @Uber, also said by Indian mavens like @udaykotak & @anandmahindra.
Yet @INCIndia disparages her & responds with crude misogyny👎— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) September 12, 2019
BJP's IT team under present management has become too slow, lazy and archaic. They needed 2 days to find out that Anand Mahindra in 2015 said Ola & Uber would impact sales of auto sector. In these 2 days, 1000s of jokes have already been posted on Sitharaman's comment. @AmitShah— Indopolity (@Indopolity) September 12, 2019
Done making jokes on Nirmala Sitharaman’s “Ola-Uber” remark? Well, the joke is on youSeptember 12, 2019
And liberals call it as Modi govt mistake . 😁
And these liberals presume dey r bigger n better than Mr. Anand Mahindra in judging Indian economy.😂— Seema Hegde Arora (@seemahegdearora) September 12, 2019
even Anand Mahindra had observed this in 2015 pic.twitter.com/ZjElF2l8Ab— SOUMYA ସୌମ୍ୟ ମହାପାତ୍ର (@soumyamhapatra) September 12, 2019
Anand Mahindra predicted in March 2016September 12, 2019
However, some contended that while Mahindra was reliable when it came to matters of the auto industry, Sitharaman was the Finance Minister of the country and should stay wary of making "irresponsible" statements.
Anand Mahindra is not India's Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is. She can't make irresponsible statements every next day. And a car is a dream for all, especially the first car, no OLA/UBER factor can stop a person there, only money problems can.— Bhavik (@Bhavik24716038) September 12, 2019