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FM Sitharaman Defends 'dramebaazi' Criticism, Cites Congress Ridicule On Package Briefings

On May 20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman defended her criticism of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's interaction with the migrant workers.

Written By
Akhil Oka
Nirmala Sitharaman

In an exclusive interview with ANI on Wednesday, May 20, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman defended her criticism pertaining to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's interaction with the migrant workers at Delhi's Sukhdev Vihar area on May 16. Sitharaman maintained that she did not respond to numerous Congress members describing her announcing the Aatmanirbhar Bharat economic package for 5 continuous days. However, she asserted that she had a right to comment when Gandhi was "chit-chatting" with migrant workers at a juncture when they were in distress. 

Nirmala Sitharaman remarked, "If Congress can call a government official announcing a package at a time like this when everyone is asking for a stimulus. One said that it is like a TV serial- every day she comes at 4. The other said it is a drama. I didn't respond to any one of them. Even on the 5th day, I was announcing, I didn't respond to any one of them. If hours of announcing what package the government is going to give is called a drama or serial, stop playing the migrants while they are on the way walking- which puts our head down in worry. And at that time, you (Rahul Gandhi) go and have a gupshup! Don't I have a right to comment on it?"

Read: FM Sitharaman Slams Cong Over 'migrant-bus' Row; Points '300 Trains To UP, 7 To C'garh'

Read: FM Nirmala Sitharaman Remarks Stimulus 2.0 Aimed At A 'greater Multiplier Effect'

'Dramebaazi' charge

Rahul Gandhi interacted with 20 migrant workers hailing from Madhya Pradesh who were resting on a footpath on their way to Jhansi from Haryana. As per reports, volunteers from the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee arranged vehicles for the group to return to their hometown while following all social distancing norms. However, on May 17, Sitharaman termed Rahul Gandhi's conversation with the migrant workers as "dramebaazi" and appealed to Congress for working together with the government on this issue. She also requested Congress president Sonia Gandhi to deal with the migrant crisis more responsibly. The Union Finance Minister claimed that the Congress party was politicising the problems faced by migrant workers instead of asking the states ruled by them to arrange more trains for ferrying the migrant workers to their native places

Read: Priyanka Gandhi Urges UP To Allow 500 Buses For Migrants, Says 'everyone’s Responsibility’

Read: Cabinet Approves 'AtmaNirbhar' Bharat Package After FM Sitharaman's 5-step Announcement

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