Bengaluru: Taking on the Opposition’s attack on the BJP over inflation issue, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said it does not have any right to attack the ruling saffron party as during UPA’s rule the inflation rate was above 6 per cent.
“When the UPA government was at the helm off affairs for 10 years, the inflation rate was above 6 per cent. Now, what is the significance of 6 per cent? One can say 6 per cent inflation rate is tolerable. But during UPA rule it was above 6 per cent mark,” she told reporters after casting her vote at Jaynagar polling station here.
“Yes, I am with the people, the inflation rate should go down further, but the opposition does not have any right because they should look at the rates that were prevalent during their rule,” she said.
Sitharaman said the Narendra Modi government at the centre has taken numerous steps to consciously control inflation, and it is laudable that the present Basavaraj Bommai government cut excise duty on fuel in the state.
The minister spoke on the issue as the Congress party and the JDS had made this one of the main issues during the campaigning ahead of the assembly election in the state.
On Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra visiting Hanuman mandir, Sitharaman said they are “chunaavi bhakts” (devotees during elections), and added that making a resolve to ban Bajrang Dal in Congress party’s manifesto is one of the most stupid steps taken by it.
“We always pay obeisance to Bajrang Bali ji and read Hanuman Chalisa. But Congress people become devotees of Hanuman ji during elections. Karnataka is the birthplace of Hanuman ji. I am not talking hearsay, it is written in their manifesto (to ban Bajrang Dal). There cannot be a more stupid step (taken by the Congress) than this,” she said.
Replying to a question, Sitharaman said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magic has worked in Karnataka and also works all over the country, because people directly connect with him.
“They know he hears their voice, and they know he reacts to them. And he also responds to that. Therefore, there cannot be anyone else between Modi and people,” she said.
Replying to a query, Sitharaman said, “From the way I see it. Bengluru is coming out in a big number. I hope the numbers will improve.”