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Controversy erupts over FM Sitharaman’s “UP-type” remark, Cong asks for apologise

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The argument over union budget turned into a war of words between ruling BJP at the centre and Congress after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman used Uttar Pradesh as an insult to the opposition leader.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that the Centre had delivered a “zero-sum budget” that has nothing for the middle class, farmers and the poor. His remarks drew a derisive response from Union ministers who suggested that the opposition leader had not understood the “futuristic” measures.

“There is despair all around our country, our youth have no future and once again the Modi govt’s budget completely ignores this painful reality. #Budget2022,” Mr Gandhi said in a post on Instagram. “M0di G0vernment’s Zer0 Sum Budget! Nothing for – Salaried class, Middle class, the poor and deprived, Youth, Farmers and MSMEs (sic),” he said on Twitter.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, who is also an MP from Uttar Pradesh, said “probably, Rahul Gandhi did not understand the budget, which is futuristic”.

Reacting to Mr Chaudhary’s remarks on Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Sitharaman said, “I think he (Chaudhary) has given that typical UP-type of an answer which is good enough for an MP who ran away from UP.” “I wish as the leader of the oldest political party, Rahul Gandhi should understand what is being said,” the finance minister said, adding that he should do something in the Congress-ruled states first before commenting on the BJP government.

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As the two sides exchanged barbs, the opposition party also hit out at FM Sitharaman, accusing her of insulting the people of Uttar Pradesh with her remarks and demanding that she apologise to them.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal also hit out at Rahul Gandhi saying he has a negative attitude towards everything this government does.

“Rahul Gandhi has a problem with mathematics, he will look at everything which has a sum of zero,” Goyal said.

Later reacting to Ms Sitharaman’s remarks, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Twitter, “You did not put anything for UP in the bag of Budget…but what was the need to insult people of UP in this manner?” “Understand, the people of UP are proud to be ‘UP-type’. We are proud of the language, dialect, culture and history of UP,” the Congress general secretary in-charge UP said in a tweet in Hindi, using the hashtag “UP Mera Abhiman (UP my pride)”.

Morover, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the FM of insulting people of Uttar Pradesh with her “UP-type” remark.

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“Nirmala Sitharaman has insulted the 25 crore people of Uttar Pradesh and made fun of them with her ‘typical UP-type’ comment. This is a big insult to the 25 crore people of Uttar Pradesh. Modi ji and Nirmala Sitharaman should immediately apologise to the people of Uttar Pradesh,” Mr Surjewala told reporters.

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