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Sitharaman lashes out at Rahul Gandhi

In a series of tweets late on Tuesday night, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rebutted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on his allegations on “wilful defaulters, bad loans and write-offs”, calling them an attempt to “mislead people in a brazen manner” and sensationalise facts. “Wished Rahul Gandhi consulted Dr Manmohan Singh on what this writing off was about,” she said in a 13-tweet retort.

Rahul Gandhi and Randeep Singh Surjewala, spokesperson of Congress, have attempted to mislead people in a brazen manner. Typical to Congress, they resort to sensationalising facts by taking them out of context,” Ms Sitharaman tweeted. Rahul Gandhi had attacked the ruling BJP after the Reserve Bank of India released a list of 50 wilful defaulters accused of cheating banks, saying the government had hidden the list from parliament because it included “friends” of the ruling party. Sitharaman countered that between 2009-10 and 2013-14, scheduled commercial banks had written off Rs 1,45,226 crore. She said provisions are made for Non-Performing Assets according to a four-year provisioning cycle laid down by the RBI. “Upon full provisioning being done, banks write-off the fully provided NPA but continue to pursue recovery against the borrower. No loan is waived off,” she wrote.  Sitharaman also listed the cases of Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya and said that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government is pursuing these wilful defaulters.

She ended her long Twitter thread by asking Rahul Gandhi and the Congress to introspect. “Neither while in power, nor while in the opposition has the INCIndia shown any commitment or inclination to stop corruption & cronyism, she said. The Congress has alleged the government waived loans worth Rs 6.66 lakh crore since 2014 till September 2019.

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