New Delhi: The state of the economy was the focus of the verbal slugfest between Arun Jaitley and the Congress on Thursday with the Union minister saying that abuse is not the answer in political discourse and the opposition party accusing the government of "economic mismanagement".
The barbs flew thick and fast as Jaitley, who attacked Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday saying that wisdom has to be acquired through learning and cannot be inherited, telling Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala that he should respond on facts.
Surjewala accused the union minister of "economic mismanagement" in the country after Jaitley claimed that India had emerged as the fastest growing economy from being among the 'fragile five' during UPA.
The Congress leader again hit back, saying exports are in a free fall, the promise of two crore jobs a 'jumla', NPAs had soared to Rs 10 lakh crore and loots and scams a norm under this government.
"This is a political discourse. Abuse is not the answer. Please respond to the facts," Jaitley told Surjewala on Twitter, a response to Wednesday's attack in which the Congress leader said the union minister was writing "hollow and wasteful" blogs to regain political relevance.
"When you abuse and berate the Congress leadership, even Supreme Court and many others by distorting facts, it is 'political discourse' for you, but when you are shown the 'mirror of truth' with hard facts, you get unnerved' and call it abuse'? Politics of Convenience?" Surjewala asked on Wednesday in response to Jaitley's comments on the Congress chief.
Jaitley hit back, saying, "... surely the journey from India being part of the fragile five' and policy paralysis' to the world's fastest growing economy could not be result of economic mismanagement - Another case of ignorance."
Surjewala responded by saying that growth under Modi government was at a four-year low.
"Exports are in free fall, promise of 2 crore jobs is a 'Jumla', NPA's are soaring to Rs 10 lakh crore, investment is down, banks are paralysed and 'loot scams' a norm, GST flawed, schemes failing! Isn't this Economic Mismanagement?."
Jaitley had started the verbal duel by taking a jibe at Gandhi for his "anti-Narendra Modi tirade" on Wednesday.
"In dynastic parties political positions are heritable. Unfortunately wisdom is not heritable. It has to be acquired through learning," he said in a post titled "Is Congress Becoming Ideology-less? Is Anti-Modism its only ideology?," he had said on his Facebook page.