‘National Security Compromised Under UPA Govt’: Sitharaman’s Big Charge As She Defends White Paper in LS – News18

Last Updated: February 09, 2024, 19:28 IST

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Image: PTI)

One of the biggest political takeaways from the White Paper was how ‘aam aadmi’ fared during the Congress-led UPA government

After the Congress Party’s ‘White-lie Paper’ remark against the Modi government, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday defended her White Paper in the Lok Sabha and challenged the opposition that the document was fully based on evidence.

“I challenge anyone who says this document is baseless. Everything is with evidence. I challenge anyone who says that we have kept the White Paper which has no proof,” said Sitharaman in Lok Sabha.

Sitharaman’s statements in Lok Sabha came after the Congress called her White Paper ‘The White-lie Paper’ and stated that it was a political exercise intended to smear the credibility of previous governments and hide the flaws in their own.

“The White Paper put out by the government is a hatchet job. It is a white-lie paper. Even the authors will not claim that it is an academic, well-researched or scholarly paper. It is a political exercise intended to damn the previous government and hide the present government’s broken promises, monumental failures and betrayal of the poor,” the Congress party said in an X post.’

National Security Compromised Under UPA Govt: Sitharaman

While addressing the house, Sitharaman said that National Security was compromised under the Modi-led UPA government as basic amenities like bulletproof jackets, and night vision goggles were not available to the Indian Army soldiers.

“Critical shortage of ammunition and defence ammunition was the main feature of 2014 when we inherited the economy…Bulletproof jackets were not available for our soldiers…Night vision goggles were not available, so in the night they couldn’t do a thing and were exposing themselves like sitting ducks in pitch darkness,” the finance minister said.

Quoting then Defence Minister AK Antony, Sitharaman added, “Independent India has had a policy for many years that the best defence is not to develop our borders. An undeveloped border is safer than a developed border. So, for many years there was no construction of roads or airfields in the border areas.”

The White Paper is a 59-page long documentation of comparison between ‘them’ and ‘us’. From quoting IMF to citing international studies, the White Paper was out to portray Congress-ruled UPA as an economic failure, while showcasing Modinomics as a turnaround story.

One of the biggest political takeaways from the White Paper was how ‘aam aadmi’ fared during the Congress-led UPA government.

Price stability is shown as a big foundation on which the two regimes are judged. “Inflation raged between 2009 and 2014 and the common man bore the brunt,” said the White Paper. While numerically one can go further about fiscal deficits, the overarching theme would be if everyday necessities cost more or less back then

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