- The Congress leader congratulated Nirmala Sitharaman on her achievement
- However, she also made a reference to the dip in India's economic growth
- Divya Spandana expressed hope that new Finance Minister will do her best
Congress spokesperson Divya Spandana on Friday congratulated BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman for becoming only the second woman in India's political history to be appointed as the Union Finance Minister, and expressed confidence that she would put in her best for the country's development. However, nestled between the otherwise complimentary words was an oblique jibe at the slump in the country's economic growth disclosed by the government this evening.
"Congratulations @nsitharaman on taking charge of a portfolio that was only last held by another woman, Indira Gandhiji in 1970 -- makes us womenfolk proud! The GDP not looking great, I'm sure you will do your best to revive the economy. You have our support. Best wishes," her tweet read.
Data released by the government showed that India's growth had fallen to 5.8% in the January-March period, putting it behind China -- which logged 6.4% -- for the first time in one-and-a-half years. This also meant that the economy logged an average growth of 6.8% for the 2018-19 financial year, lower than the earlier estimate of 7%.
Congratulations @nsitharaman on taking charge of a portfolio that was only last held by another woman, Indira Gandhi ji in 1970-makes us women folk proud! The GDP not looking great, I'm sure you will do your best to revive the economy. You have our support. Best wishes- https://t.co/gOARWiXHJG— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) May 31, 2019
Nirmala Sitharaman, who was the Union Defence Minister in the NDA government's first stint, was appointed as the Finance Minister earlier in the day. "Honoured and humbled by the opportunity given to serve the nation under your leadership. As a karyakarta, grateful to my party BJP," she tweeted soon afterwards, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Arun Jaitley, the previous Finance Minister, had opted out of the government on health grounds. Nirmala Sitharaman's main responsibilities would be to arrest the country's flagging economy, besides finding the money to fund PM Modi's campaign promises without undermining the budget deficit target of 3.4% of the Gross Domestic Product for the year through March 2020. Having worked as a research manager for audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in London, her appointment has been generally favoured by industry leaders.
Congratulations to @nsitharaman on her new role as Finance Minister. As the first woman to helm this crucial portfolio full time, she's shattered the glass ceiling by all means.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 31, 2019
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti had earlier complimented the new Finance Minister in a tweet. "Congratulations to @nsitharaman on her new role as Finance Minister. As the first woman to helm this crucial portfolio full time, she's shattered the glass ceiling by all means," she said.
Indira Gandhi had held the finance ministry as an additional portfolio while fulfilling her main responsibilities as the country's Prime Minister in the 1970s.
Nirmala Sitharaman, who is represented in the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, was given the important portfolio after the National Democratic Alliance won 352 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections -- restricting the opposition alliance to 91. The BJP scored 303 seats on its own.
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