P Chidambaram who was released from jail on Wednesday took on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her "I-don't-eat-onions" comment. At a press conference the former Finance Minister said, "The Finance Minister said yesterday that she doesn't eat onions, so what does she eat? Does she eat avocado?" asked Chidambaram.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman had said during the Lok Sabha Winter Session on Wednesday that the increase in onion prices did not affect her much. "I don't eat a lot of onions and garlic, so don't worry. I come from a family that doesn't care much for onions," she said in response to an opposition leader who interrupted her while she was speaking about the onion prices. Sitharaman also spoke about the measures the government is undertaking to keep onion prices in check.
P Chidambaram launched a scathing attack against the BJP government and called them "incompetent managers of the economy". "Prime Minister has been unusually silent on the economy. He has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster. The net result, as the Economist put it, is that the government has turned out to be an 'incompetent manager'of the economy," he said.
He also said that India as a country would be lucky if the country ended the year with GDP growth of 5 per cent. "Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian's caution that 5% under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5% but less by about 1.5%," Chidambaram said.
The minister also criticised the government and said that they don't know the difference between 'cyclical' and 'structural' economic slowdown. Chidambaram said that people like Raghuram Rajan, Arvind Subramanian, Urjit Patel and Arvind Panagariya who know and understand the economy well were banished by the BJP government.