New Delhi: As Nirmala Sitharaman took charge as the Finance Minister on Friday, she was applauded for being only the second woman in the political history of India to take up the role. Sitharaman received wishes from unexpected quarters, like from Congress spokesperson Divya Spandana.
Spandana congratulated her saying that it was a proud moment for the women folk. However, the message wasn’t all good. In a subtle swipe at the new finance minister, Spandana pointed at the GDP which has slipped to 5.8%.
“Congratulations @nsitharaman on taking charge of a portfolio that was only last held by another woman, Indira Gandhi ji in 1970-makes us women folk proud! The GDP not looking great, I’m sure you will do your best to revive the economy. You have our support. Best wishes- (sic),” Spandana wrote in the tweet.
Congratulations @nsitharaman on taking charge of a portfolio that was only last held by another woman, Indira Gandhi ji in 1970-makes us women folk proud! The GDP not looking great, I’m sure you will do your best to revive the economy. You have our support. Best wishes- https://t.co/gOARWiXHJG— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) May 31, 2019
According to the data revealed by the Centrals Statistics Office (CSO), the GDP in the January-March period slipped to 5.8%, its slowest pace in 17 quarters. With this India falls behind China's pace for the first time in nearly two years. The CSO attributed the slump to poor performance in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also congratulated Sitharaman for becoming the first woman to take charge as a full-time Union finance minister.
"As the first woman to helm this crucial portfolio full time, she's shattered the glass ceiling by all means," the Peoples Democratic Party president said in a tweet, congratulating the former defence minister.
Congratulations to @nsitharaman on her new role as Finance Minister. As the first woman to helm this crucial portfolio full time, she’s shattered the glass ceiling by all means.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 31, 2019
Sitharaman served as the Defence Minister in the previous cabinet. She took oath on Thursday evening at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Finance portfolio was earlier held by senior leader Arun Jaitley who opted out of the new government citing health reasons.
A supporter of PM Modi and his policies in defence and security, Sitharaman has been an active face in national media over the past year, defending the government’s stance on the Rafale deal in Parliament and standing up to sexist remarks from Opposition leaders.