Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday launched a counter offensive on Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for calling her 'nirbala' (weak) in the Lok Sabha. The finance minister said that every woman in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was a 'sabla' (strong). Earlier in the day, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Sitharaman is a minister yet she can’t speak her mind, thus, it would be appropriate to call her 'nirbala' instead of Nirmala.
"I have respect for you, but at times I think that instead of Nirmala Sitharaman, whether it would be appropriate to call you 'Nirbala' Sitharaman. You are a minister but do you speak your mind," Chowdhury said in the Lower House.
Refering to industrialist Rahul Bajaj's incriminating question that the Narendra Modi government does not have the courage to listen to critism, the finance minister told the lower house that even though her term has not ended yet, she is called as the worst finance minister the country ever had.
"I have been told that I am the worst Finance Minister, they're not even waiting for me to finish my term. I told them that please give me more ideas, we will work on it. If there's a government that listens, it is PM Modi's government," she said.
During an event organised by The Economic Times newspaper, veteran business tycoon Rahul Bajaj had recently told Amit Shah that the Narendra Modi government was averse to criticism while people were free to criticse during the UPA rule. R
eferring to Amit Shah's response to Bajaj's concerns, Sitharaman said, "I was on the dais. It was with the attitude that we are willing to hear criticism and respond to it, rather than say you can't speak at all. The Home Minister's response shows we are quite happy to hear."