Nirmala Sitharaman criticizes Congress over constitution allegations


PTI, May 21, 2024, 3:53 PM IST

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday slammed Congress leaders for spreading lies that the NDA intends to change the constitution and said leaders of the grand old party should stop talking about such things as they ”failed” to protect the constitution of their own party just to promote one family.

”Congress and RJD leaders are spreading lies that the BJP-led NDA would change the Constitution after coming to power. Congress leaders should stop talking about protecting the Constitution. How can they talk about such things, when Congress leaders failed to protect the constitution of their own party? They must remember how former Congress president Sitaram Kesri was locked in a room to prevent any obstacle in Sonia Gandhi’s elevation in the party”, she said while interacting with media persons here.

Alleging that the RJD and Congress are trying to ”rob” SCs, STs and OBCs of quotas and divert these to Muslims, she said, ”They want to give reservation on the basis of religion to benefit Muslims only, which is against the Constitution. The Congress and RJD are trying to rob SCs, STs and OBCs of quotas and divert these to Muslims. The Congress party in Karnataka has already done this”.

”When Congress was in power, it never gave due respect to Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He was given the Bharat Ratna in 1990. They don’t deserve to speak about the Constitution or Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Modi Ji has taken several steps for uplift of the weaker sections of society….and also for the overall growth of the country”, she said.

She maintained that the accelerated growth of eastern states has always remained a top priority of the NDA-led Central government.

”The Central government wants eastern states – Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha – to become engines of growth for the whole country as part of the goal to make India a developed country by 2047”, said the Union Finance Minister.

As far as Bihar is concerned, she said, ”Bihar’s growth was adversely affected due to ‘jungal raj’ before 2005. The per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bihar was Rs 21,282 in 1991, higher than Odisha. But during ‘jungal raj it came down to Rs 14, 209, almost a 33 per cent drop in the Bihar per capita GDP. I must say that post-2002 per capita GDP in Bihar rose to Rs 37,000”.

The NDA government has so far provided 40 lakh houses to poor people under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Rural and Urban), she added.

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