ANI Photo | “Unaccountable and unanswerable power”: Nirmala Sitharaman attacks Sonia Gandhi in LS

In an apparent jibe at Congress MP Sonia Gandhi, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her reply to the debate on ‘White Paper’ in the Lok Sabha, targeted the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) stating that Sonia Gandhi acted like ‘super’ Prime Minister and said that ‘Ghotala-driven’ government mismanaged the economy the government.
“The centre point of the ‘Ghotala-driven’ government and mismanagement of the economy lies in the issue of leadership. Sonia Gandhiji was the ‘super’ Prime Minister as the chairperson of the advisory council and an extra-constitutional and unaccountable person,” Sitharaman said.
“It was an unaccountable and unanswerable power. Due to this, the scams took pace. It was an unconstitutional use of power,” she added.
Referring to the incident when Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tore up the ordinance brought by the Manmohan Singh government in 2013, FM Sitharaman said, ” When Manmohan Singhji, the then-Prime Minister, was on a foreign trip, a man who might have been the Congress’s general secretary or president at the time tore an ordinance. Was this decency? Wasn’t this an insult to the Constitution?”
“He was an arrogant man who did not care for his own prime minister,” she added.
The Congress-led UPA had brought the Ordinance to get around a Supreme Court judgement, barring elected representatives from being members of legislative bodies upon conviction in criminal cases.However, they were forced to roll back the Ordinance after a public remonstration from the Congress MP, who shredded the piece of paper in the presence of then-PM Singh, saying that it deserved to be dumped into the bin.
During a hearing in the Lily Thomas vs Union of India case, the Supreme Court ruled that “any MP, MLA or MLC who is convicted of a crime and given a minimum of 2 years’ jail loses membership of the House with immediate effect”.
The UPA government tried to bypass this judgement and retain section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People’s Act that allowed lawmakers to not be disqualified for three months even if they are convicted.
Two months later, the UPA government passed an Ordinance negating the apex court order.
It was seen widely as a move to protect RJD supremo and UPA ally Lalu Prasad Yadav from disqualification if proved guilty in the ‘fodder scam’ case.
On September 27, Rahul made a surprise entry at a press event of the Congress in Delhi, days after the Ordinance was passed.
Tearing up the copy of the Ordinance in full public view, Rahul called it ‘complete nonsense’, adding that it should be “torn and thrown out”.
Meanwhile, the White Paper, tabled by the BJP government in the Lok Sabha, compares the 10 years of economic management of the Congress-led UPA government with that of the Modi government, was tabled in Parliament on Thursday

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