Chidambaram Taunts Govt Over 5% GDP With Hand Gesture, Swamy Counters

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Chidambaram taunted the govt over the economic slowdown and downfall of GDP to 5%, after the former Union Minister was remanded to two more days of CBI custody

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:

P. Chidambaram taunted the government over the economic slowdown and downfall of GDP to 5%, after the former Finance Minister was remanded to two more days of CBI custody by the Delhi High Court in the INX Media corruption case. 

Taking a dig at the PM Modi-led BJP government, while leaving the Court, the senior Congress leader in response to a reporter's question over his CBI custody of 15 long days just said, "5%" with a smile on his face, and made a hand gesture to express the same. The Congress leader said, "What is 5%? Do you remember 5%?"

This is former Union Minister Chidambaram's first response ever since his dramatic midnight arrest by the CBI on August 21 from his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi. Earlier on August 22, Chidambaram made a thumbs-up gesture as he emerged out of the Rouse Avenue Court before being taken away by the CBI.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.

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Subramanian Swamy's reaction

In retaliation to Chidambaram mocking the government over the economy, BJP's Subramanian Swamy held the Congress led UPA government responsible for "setting the motion" for the economic downfall. 

He said, "Yes, he may say 5%, but it may mean economy or it may mean that commissions are collected at 5%, this is a well known phrase. The economy is (unclear) badly that's what I am saying, but he can't justify it. The kind of things that UPA did, specially between 2009 and 2014, they are responsible for setting this into motion and we are responsible for not recognising it."  

Manmohan Singh over economy

Former Prime Minister and former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the state of the economy was "deeply worrying" and that "all-round mismanagement" by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown. In a statement, he said the last quarter GDP growth rate of 5% signals that "we are in midst of a prolonged slowdown".The Congress leader said India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate. Singh said it is particularly the manufacturing sector's state was distressing. The sector's growth, tottering at 0.6% was worrisome, said the senior Congress leader.

"India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics, and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis," he said. "This makes it very clear that our economy has not yet recovered from the man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST," Manmohan Singh said adding, "Investor sentiments are in doldrums. These are not the foundations for economic recovery."

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India's real GDP growth slumped further in Q1 of FY 2019/20 (April-March) to 5% year-on-year, from 5.8% in Q4 (January-March) FY 2018/19 due mainly to a sharp slowdown in private consumption growth. 

(With PTI inputs) 

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