Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that the Congress leaders should wash ‘their faces with Dettol’ before mentioning and discussing corruption charges. Congress MPs have been levelling corruption charges against the BJP government at the Centre over the Adani-Hindenburg row.
Responding to the Congress' graft allegations, Sitharaman, who was addressing the Lok Sabha, said: "Before you speak of corruption, wash your mouth with Dettol. Look who's talking about corruption!"
Sitharaman, who was replying to the debate on the Union Budget 2023-24, also slammed states that have not reduced the value added tax (VAT) on fuel despite the Centre reducing it twice since 2021.
“When the import price increased, PM Narendra Modi reduced the excise duty on petroleum products twice - in November 2021 and June 2022 - to reduce the burden on the public. While we reduced the duty on fuel, some states did just the opposite. I want to name them. Gaurav Gogoi ji should ask the Himachal Pradesh government why it increased the VAT on diesel after winning the (state) elections,” Sitharaman said.
She also took a dig at Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot for reading out excerpts from the old budget on Friday. "There is some problem with Rajasthan, they're reading last year's budget this year. I pray to God that nobody should make such a mistake but today it happened and so I have to mention it."
On Friday, Gehlot read parts from the previous budget at the beginning of his speech. BJP members protested in the Rajasthan Assembly leading to the adjournment. They asked if the budget had been leaked. After the proceedings resumed, Gehlot apologised for the error.
BJP leader and former CM Vasundhara Raje hit out at Gehlot. "It seems to have happened first in history. How can a person miss to cross-check such an important document?"
"I feel sorry, what happened was by mistake. You (Opposition) can point out only if there's a difference between what's written in the budget in my hand and its copies were given to the House members. If a page was added to my budget copy by mistake, how does the matter of leaking of budget arise?" Gehlot asked.
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