New Delhi: Targeting former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, BJP MP and President of the party's Kisan Morcha Virendra Singh Mast on Thursday sought to know Sinha's own achievements as the country's Finance Minister.
"The concerns Yashwant Sinha has raised (on NDA government's economic policies) are baseless. He should remember his own terms as the country's Finance Minister. What were his achievements," Mast said.
"As Finance Minister in the Chandra Shekhar government, he is known for pawning India's gold. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, his performance was such that Dattopant Thengadi (RSS ideologue and founder of Swadeshi Jagran Manch) called him 'anartha mantri' (disaster minister)," Mast said.
Mast said Sinha's "allegations" about farmers were unfounded.
"Farmers' problems are not new. As a farmer and President of BJP's Kisan Morcha, I can say that this is the first government which has done so much for farmers' welfare," he said.
In an editorial page article in The Indian Express on Wednesday, Sinha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi "claims he has seen poverty from close quarters (and) his Finance Minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters".
"Agriculture is in distress, construction industry -- a big employer of the workforce -- is in doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the economy is in distress," Sinha wrote.
On Thursday, Yashwant Sinha's son Jayant Sinha, a junior minister in the Narendra Modi government, wrote a piece in the Times of India defending the government on economic decisions.
Mast said it was strange that father and son were "communicating with each other through newspapers".
"The father writes a piece in a newspaper. Next day, his son writes a piece countering father's narrative. Baap aur bete mein samachar patro ke madhyam se samvad hona chahiye kya (Should father and son exchange views through newspapers)," Mast said.
He refused to comment on whether senior Sinha's piece blasting the government may have a negative impact on Jayant's future prospects in the government and party.
"This is for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decide who he wants to keep in his council of ministers," he said.