Opposition leaders on Thursday castigated Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after she referred to a response of Minister of State Pankaj Chaudhary on the Budget as a “typical UP type of an answer”.
Chaudhary, who is the MP from Maharajganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh, was responding to a question about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the Budget. He said that Gandhi seems not to have understood the Budget and that the document will benefit the country in the future.
Sitharaman then said that Chaudhary had given “that typical UP type of an answer, which is good enough for an MP who ran away from UP”. The finance minister appeared to have been referring to Gandhi contesting from Wayanad in Kerala in addition to his traditional constituency of Amethi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Sitharaman asked Gandhi to take measures for young people and farmers in states like Punjab and Maharashtra, where the Congress is in power. “I wish that as a leader of the oldest political party, Shri Rahul Gandhi, please understand what is being said in the Budget,” she said.
Responding to Sitharaman’s comment, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that the people of Uttar Pradesh are “proud of being UP-type”.
“You [Sitharaman] did not put anything in the Budget bag for Uttar Pradesh, that was okay,” Vadra said on Twitter. “But what was the need to insult the people of Uttar Pradesh like this?”
In a similar vein, the Congress said on its official Twitter handle that while Sitharaman may have made the remark to insult the people of Uttar Pradesh, she should know that the people of the state are proud to be “UP type”.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also asked Sitharaman why she had “so much disdain for the state”.
“Are they inferior in their opinions, are they incapable of understanding the Budget or are they any lesser than your accumulated experience and knowledge?” Chaturvedi questioned. “I am sure FinMin will enlighten further.”
The finance minister made the remarks days ahead of the beginning of the Uttar Pradesh elections. The seven-phase Assembly polls in the state will begin on February 10 and the results will be announced on March 10.