Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday accused Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of "fudging" Budget numbers to conceal real fiscal deficit. Ms Sitharaman relied on estimates used in the Interim Budget of February 1, though the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) had later provided revised estimates till July 5, when the annual budget was presented, Mr Sinha said at the Mumbai Lit Fest.
The Finance Minister, in response to similar objections earlier, had claimed that every figure in the Budget was authentic, Mr Sinha said.
"She used revised estimates... because the revenue receipts had declined so considerably that she wouldn't have claimed that fiscal deficit would be only 3.3 per cent or whatever that claim was," said Mr Sinha, who had also served as finance minister.
"She fudged the figures and it was so blatantly obvious that the figures were fudged," he alleged.
He said he called up a few MPs highlighting the discrepancy, but none of them took it up in the house. The bureaucrat-turned-politician said the country was in a "mess", which was far more serious than what was imagined six months ago.
He criticised the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "revoking" the Overseas Citizen of India status to writer Atish Taseer, adding that an era of "personal vendetta" has begun.
Mr Taseer's OCI status was withdrawn for allegedly not disclosing that his father was a Pakistani national. The government denied that it had anything to do with his article about PM Modi in Time magazine.
The current "undeclared Emergency" is far more pernicious than a declared Emergency, the former BJP leader said.
He alleged that his son Jayant Sinha, who was a minister of state for finance in the first term of the Modi government, suffered because of his criticism of the BJP.