‘Wash your faces with Dettol’: Nirmala counters Congress’ graft charge

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the Congress leaders should ‘wash’ their faces with ‘Dettol’ before they talk about corruption.

She made the scathing remark in the Lok Sabha after Congress members levelled corruption allegations against the Narendra Modi government.

“Before you speak of corruption, wash your faces with Dettol. Look who’s talking about corruption?” Sitharaman retorted to Congress’ allegations of graft.

Addressing the Lower House, the Union Finance minister also hit out at states which did not reduce VAT on feul even after the Centre decreased it twice in the last couple of years.

She asked Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi to ask his party, which is in power in Himachal Pradesh, why it hiked VAT on diesel after winning the Assembly elections.

“When the import price increased, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reduced the excise duty on petroluem products twice — in November 2021 and June 2022 — so as to reduce the price burden on the public. While we reduced the duty on fuel, there were states which did just the opposite. I want to name them. Gogoi-ji should ask the (Congress-ruled) Himachal government why they increased the VAT on diesel by Rs 3 after winning the (Assembly) elections,” Sitharaman said.

The Opposition MPs protested against the remark, to which the Finance Minister said it was in the Congress’ DNA to level allegations and create a ruckus when the government responds to them.

“You are the one who increased VAT (on fuel). Think before you speak. It is in the Congress’ culture to level allegations and create a ruckus and stage a walkout when we repond to them. This is their way,” she said.

Naming the Opposition-ruled states that increased VAT on fuel, Sitharaman said, “Punjab increased VAT on petrol and diesel this month. Kerala government, too announced a social security cess of Rs 2 per litre of petrol and diesel this month,” she said.

Sitharaman took a jibe at Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who mistakenly read from last year’s Budget in the state Assembly on Friday, saying “there is some problem in Rajasthan”.

“They read last year’s Budget this year. While I concede that anybody can make mistakes, I pray to God that no one lands in a situation where he ends up reading last year’s Budget this year. But it happened today,” she said. (ANI)

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