No information on Jayanthi joining BJP: Jaitley

New Delhi, 19/12/2014: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday Photo: R. V. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy

Responding to former Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan’s > assertion that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi gave specific instructions to her on issues that came up for her consideration as Minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)on Friday said the UPA government promoted “crony capitalism,” in the country by favouring select companies for environmental clearance.

“When whims of political leaders overtake legal requirements, this becomes a textbook case of crony capitalism and this is exactly what the UPA government was practicing,” said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “The UPA was a practitioner of sadistic economy, was vindictive in nature, wanting to teach some people a lesson and wanting to favour some. This had to be for corrupt and collateral reasons, and this is precisely why India suffered in the last few years of the UPA government.”

Speaking to journalists, he said the growth rate during the UPA regime was radically going down and one of the prime reasons for this was the delay in granting approvals for projects. The UPA government was a silent spectator, he said.

BJP spokesman G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said, “now we know it was not Jayanthi tax but Rahul Gandhi tax which was withholding projects.”

Read >the full letter here.

“Policies were made to hurt or help some people and the Environment Ministry must take a re-look at all the projects cleared and withheld during the UPA regime," he told journalists.

The centre will review the several environmental clearances given by the previous UPA government, Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar said.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi hit back at the estranged colleague. “The decision to remove her from the Ministry was a considered one and taken jointly by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi after very serious consideration,” Mr. Singhvi said.

Asked why the UPA Government had not filed a case against her if that was the case, Mr. Singhvi sought to draw a distinction between “serious allegations” and “provable allegations.”

The disclosures, coming as they do, on the eve of crucial Delhi Assembly elections do not augur well for the beleaguered Congress Party or its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.

Congress leader P.C. Chacko termed the allegations as baseless and said the party never got any compliant from her about “interference by Mr. Gandhi's office’’.

In her letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, >Ms. Natarajan said she had “honoured” requests that came from Mr. Gandhi’s office and took decisions on environment clearances to projects based on “specific inputs”.

The former Minister > was asked to step down in December 2013 for party work but was not assigned any. Later she was also removed as a party spokesperson. She said to this day she does not know why she was “removed’ as a Minister.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 7:01:55 PM |

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