We should worship job creators like Adani, Ambani, says BJP MP

Opposition hits out at govt. in Rajya Sabha over the Budget leaving out the poor

February 10, 2022 08:00 pm | Updated 08:00 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File photo of K.J. Alphons

File photo of K.J. Alphons

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP K.J. Alphons on Thursday said in the Rajya Sabha that job creators like “Ambani, Adani” should be “worshipped”, in reaction to the Opposition’s criticism that the Budget had left out the poor and only benefited the rich.

The Upper House continued to debate the Union Budget 2022-2023 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. According to Rajya Sabha sources, a total of 43 MPs had spoken during the discussion till Thursday and four more were likely to speak before Ms. Sitharaman’s reply on Friday.

Mr. Alphons, a former Union Minister, responded to the Opposition’s statements that the wealth of two people had gone up by saying that global inequality was a fact and that Tesla founder Elon Musk, among others, too, had become richer in the recent past.

“You can accuse me of being a mouthpiece of the capitalists. I think any person who creates jobs in this country, let me name the people, because you [the Opposition] have named them, be it Reliance, be it Ambani, be it Adani, be it anybody, they must be worshipped because they provide jobs,” Mr. Alphons said.

He added that the Parliament and “people sitting over there”, pointing to the Opposition, had “shamed” people who had created jobs.

Manoj Jha, of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, said the Budget had no vision for employment generation in the Railways sector. “We are a welfare state. Don’t insult the poor by saying you are giving free vaccines,” he said.

Vandana Chavan of the Nationalist Congress Party raised issues related to urban development, asking for the creation of a municipal service cadre for officers and an employment guarantee scheme for the urban poor on the lines of MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).

Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena said the Budget had “left the poor high and dry”. He said the middle class had hoped that the Finance Minister would give small taxpayers some relief and provide relief to small businesses. “It was also expected that the tax rates would be raised for large corporates who are doing extremely well. The government chose to favour the corporates, but the middle class, which is battling the soaring inflation and high medical expenses, is left disappointed,” he said.

Jose K. Mani, of the Kerala Congress (M), said the Budget had not mentioned the millions of Indians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The haves have become richer, but the have-nots have become poorer. There is no real freedom without economic freedom, and the way the nation’s income and expenditure has been allocated, it has resulted in increase in the number of poor, especially among farmers,” he said. He urged the government to provide a special economic package for workers unable to find jobs during the pandemic.

While supporting the Budget, Ram Nath Thakur, of the BJP-allied Janata Dal (United), demanded the government carry out a caste census. He said farmers were in a bad condition, and the government had reduced allocation for MGNREGA. He also raised the demand for granting Bihar special category status.

Syed Nasir Hussain of the Congress hit out at the government over unemployment, saying the only area in which jobs had been created was the “vigilante department”, with the latest being the objection to Muslim women wearing hijab at a Karnataka college.

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