JAIPUR: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said the Narendra Modi government would look to make a political statement in the Union Budget,considering it is the last full Budget of its term. He predicted the NDA government is likely to offer tax rebates or investment initiatives, that could put it in a run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"This is anyway their last budget, and they will try to send out a political message," Tharoor said, while speaking on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
"If you look at our economy, which is in a bad condition, they would want to give some incentives for investments. Maybe, there will be some tax rebates. They will have to do something for farmers, as stagnant a agriculture sector has put farmers in a very bad state," he added.
The former Union minister said if the BJP wants people to vote for them, they would do something about employment opportunities for the youth as well.
Tharoor's comments come even as the Congress and the BJP are locked in a war of words in the run-up to the Budget.
Hitting out at the ruling party, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram yesterday slammed the Centre over its claims on job creation. He dismissed the government as being "clueless" on the issue.
The former finance minister took to Twitter to express his resentment. In a tweet-storm, he said the nation has seen a three-year spell of "modest, but jobless growth" and that the government is "clueless about how to create jobs".
Attacking the Modi regime, Chidambaram said, "The NDA government's wild claims of creating 70 lakh new jobs in 2017-18 has been punctured now."
Chidambaram had further said that the Prime Minister should understand that there is a marked difference between job and self-employment as the former is "regular and reasonably secure".
The veteran Congress leader was referring to PM Modi's interview on January 19 where he had said, "If a person sells 'pakodas' and takes home Rs 200 every evening, is that not employment?"
To this, Chidambaram had tweeted, "Even selling pakodas is a 'job' said PM. By that logic, even begging is a job. Let's count poor or disabled persons who are forced to beg for a living as 'employed' people."
Responding to the former Finance Minister's 'pakoda' jibe at PM Modi, the BJP said that the Congress has insulted "poor Indians".
"Prime Minister Modi respects poor people who work hard to earn their livelihood. Congress and P Chidambaram make fun of them," said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, returning the barb.