29 September, New Delhi
Firing yet another salvo in the verbal war with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, his party colleague Yashwant Sinha, who has also held the finance portfolio, said on Friday that had he been a ”job applicant at 80”, Jaitley would not have got the present assignment.
Jaitley had yesterday, in response to the former finance minister’s scathing criticism of his handling of the economy, taken a swipe on him, dubbing him as ”job applicant at 80”, suggesting that he was frustrated over not being given any important assignment by the Modi government.
Sinha, who has been feeling sidelined in the party for quite sometime, expressed surprise that a person who could never win a Lok Sabha seat was questioning him.
Jaitley had contested for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat for the first time in 2014, but had lost.
The former finance minister also wanted to know why Jaitley had forgotten Advani’s advice not to make personal attack, which he fondly mentioned in his speech at last evening’s book release function during which the attack on him came.
He said Jaitley had not gone through the rigours of nurturing a constituency as he was merely a political appointee and did not know the ground reality.
After releasing the book titled ‘India@70, Modi@3.5’, brought out by the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Foundation, Jaitley had hit out at both Sinha, and his predecessor in the previous UP government P Chidambaram, who had backed Sinha’s assessment of the present state of economy.
Jaitley had said, ”I must confess that I don’t have the luxury as yet of being a former finance minister. Nor do I have the luxury of being former finance minister who has turned a columnist. So, I can conveniently forget the policy paralysis, 15 per cent NPA, 4 billion foreign reserve left in 1991, ” in obvious reference to the state of economy during the tenure of both as finance ministers.
The Finance Minister had wound up his speech with a swipe at Sinha, saying, ”the name of the book he released today should be ‘India@70, Modi@3.5 and a job applicant@80.