New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday hit out at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her millennials remark, saying it reflected the "inefficiency, immaturity, and inexperience" of the BJP in governance and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise for it.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Sitharaman's statement is a grave joke on the poor state of the economy. The minister had said in Chennai on Tuesday that the slowdown in the automobile sector was due to many factors like the change in mindset of millennials, who now prefer taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber, instead of committing for monthly installments to own a car.
Taking a swipe at her analogy, Singhvi also posed a set of ten questions to Sitharaman.
"This remarkable, unbelievable statement by the finance minister reflects the inefficiency, the immaturity and the inexperience, the three I's, as Shri Modi would say of the BJP in governance. The gross overstatement by the FM is a grave joke on the economy, on the country. Why? Because the dip in the GDP is the real new normal for this government," he told reporters.
"I am sure that she will not do, what is deserved to be done. So may I request Modi Ji to do it for us expunge her remarks and seek an apology from her to the nation," he said.
Singhvi asked reporters why the prime minister was not taking responsibility and steps to tackle the slowdown. "Why is he silent and hiding," he questioned.
He asked why the finance minister was more interested in cracking jokes and finding excuses instead of putting in efforts to bring the economy on track.
The Congress leader asked how would India be able to become a USD 5 trillion economy with the slowdown and wondered why steps were not taken in the recent General Budget to overcome the problem in the automobile sector.
Taking on the finance minister, the Congress leader said the mobile app-based car booking system and the auto sector can not be correlated as the sharp decline in the auto sector is spread across India, including the rural regions.
He said the car booking system had not emerged at once and had been in the country for almost a decade now.
"It is not a new trend that is responsible for killing the new car market," he said, adding that the slowdown in automobile industry did not happen all of a sudden as sales had been falling for months since July 2018.
"The finance minister should also remember that the slowdown isn't affecting auto companies alone, but its impact is felt across sectors, throughout the economy. Have Ola and Uber become this powerful that they can impact the economy at such a large scale," he asked.
Singhvi said the hashtags like "#BoycottMillennials" and "#SayItLikeNirmalaTai" are already trending on Twitter, as citizens, especially millennials are rebutting the "cruel joke" made by the Sitharaman.