BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha came out in support of his party colleague Yashwant Sinha over his criticism of the state of the economy, saying he was a true statesman and had shown the government the mirror.
The Bihar MP, who has been at variance with the BJP's stand on a host of issues, also targeted his party leaders for dismissing the former finance minister's views, saying it would be "childish" to do so as they were "entirely in the party's and national interest".
Taking a dig at the government in a series of tweets, he claimed motives were being ascribed to Yashwant's observations and "we all know that the infamous and pervasive dirty tricks department" was behind them.
The cine star-turned-parliamentarian quoted Narendra Modi, saying the prime minister had recently reiterated that the nation was bigger than the party and the national interest came first. "I'm of the firm opinion that everything that has been written by Mr Sinha is entirely in the party's and national interest," he tweeted.
"He is a true statesman and a tried and tested man of wisdom, who has proven himself as one of the best and most successful finance ministers of the country. He has shown the mirror on the economic condition of India and has hit the nail right on the head," he said.
Describing Yashwant as an elder brother, he said the BJP veteran must be appreciated and applauded for coming out with these views. In his tweets, Shatrughan also praised Arun Shourie, who was Yashwant's colleague in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet and now has become a strong critic of the Modi government policies.
"Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie are extremely learned and experienced intellectuals. Neither has any expectation or interest in being given a post (or ministership), especially with the next elections less than 2 years away," he tweeted.
He said those criticising Yashwant should rebut him point by point. "Sadly, I'm yet to hear even one point by point rebuttal.Hope, wish and pray that all those people who matter in our party ponder over what has been said by Yashwant Sinha and remedial action is taken soon. Sooner the better.
Long liveBJP/NDA," he posted on the micro-blogging website. In a newspaper article headlined, "I need to speak up now", Yashwant had criticised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over what he called the "mess the finance minister has made of the economy" and flayed demonetization and the way the GST had been rolled out.