Nirmala Sitharaman Defends NDA, Criticizes Opposition for Constitution Misinformation

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses accusations by the Congress and RJD regarding the NDA's plans to alter the Constitution. She emphasizes the NDA’s commitment to development and accuses the opposition of neglecting weaker sections. The focus remains on Bihar's recovery and growth under NDA rule.

PTI | Patna | Updated: 21-05-2024 22:29 IST | Created: 21-05-2024 22:29 IST
Nirmala Sitharaman Defends NDA, Criticizes Opposition for Constitution Misinformation
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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Congress should stop ''spreading lies'' about the NDA's ''intention to change the country's Constitution'' as its leaders ''failed to protect own party constitution to protect one family''.

Addressing a press conference here, she said, ''Congress and RJD leaders are spreading lies that the BJP-led NDA would change the Constitution of the country after returning to power. How can they say such things when Congress leaders failed to protect their party constitution? Alleging that the RJD and Congress were trying to ''rob'' SCs, STs and OBCs of quotas and divert the reservations to Muslims, she said, ''They want to give reservations on the basis of religion to benefit only Muslims but this is not permissible under the Constitution.'' ''When the Congress was in power, it never gave due respect to BR Ambedkar. He was given the Bharat Ratna in 1990. They don't deserve to speak about the Constitution or BR 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 claimed.

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

''The Union government wants the eastern states of Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha to be the growth engines of the country as part of the goal to make India a developed nation by 2047,'' she said.

''Bihar's growth was adversely affected due to 'jungle raj' (allusion to RJD rule) before 2005. The per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bihar was Rs 21,282 in 1991, higher than Odisha. But during 'jungle raj', it came down to Rs 14,209, almost a 33 per cent drop. I must say that post-2002 per capita GDP in Bihar rose to Rs 37,000,'' she said.

Lalu Prasad's slogan of 'Sammaan Chahiye, Vikas Nahi' (we need social justice and respect, not development) led to a complete halt in Bihar's development, she added.

''The effect of jungle raj was seen not only on law and order in Bihar but also on the economic condition of the state and its people. Whereas, under PM Modi, all marginalised castes are getting 'samman' and 'vikaas','' she said.

The NDA government has so far provided 40 lakh houses to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, she added.

Later in the day, Sitharaman interacted with members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI-Bihar) and also addressed members of the Bihar Industries Association (BIA) in Patna.

She also visited the residence of Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader who died last week battling cancer, in Patna and expressed her condolences to the bereaved family members.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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