Jaitley calls critics of govt 'compulsive contrarians'

Last Updated 17 January 2019, 14:18 IST

Dismissing the detractors of the Modi dispensation as "compulsive contrarians," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused them of manufacturing falsehood and practising “double standards” in finding fault with a sovereign elected government.

Hitting back at senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, one of the three members in the selection panel for the CBI chief, who opposed the decision of ousting Alok Verma, Jaitley said the former’s was “a text book case of bias.”

Noting that Kharge was a petitioner before the Supreme Court claiming that the CBI chief had been wrongly removed for mala-fide reasons, Jaitley argued that having been a campaigner for the ousted chief, Kharge obviously could not have sat in judgment over his innocence or guilt in the committee.

“His was a textbook case of bias. Any honorable man should have recused himself. His dissent as a biased man is non-est (does not exist). Yet the conflicted man accuses one of the most honorable judges of conflict of interest,” the finance minister said.

He said that the committee is not an appellate forum against the CVC findings. “If the same had to be challenged, it can only be challenged in court. The committee could not have ignored the CVC report,” he said justifying the committee’s decision to transfer Verma out of CBI, after which the latter quit.

Mentioning a range of issues like the Justice Loya case, Rafale case, the RBI versus government row, the earlier controversy between the four senior-most Supreme Court judges and the government, Jaitley — former information and broadcasting minister — also faulted " one particular newspaper" for its reporting.

Dubbing the newspaper a "compulsive contrarians," the finance minister saw a “nexus” in the particular newspaper having reported Collegium proceedings and conversations in the past two years faithfully.

Jaitley did not name the newspaper nor did he explain what was the nexus as such.

The larger portions of his write up, however, targeted the Opposition parties, mainly the Congress, saying "...there are some in the political system who thought that they were born to rule.”

“There are those who had managed to penetrate into positions of influence irrespective of the government in power. Some who were part of the ideological Left and the ultra-Left, obviously found the new government wholly unacceptable. Hence, emerged a new class of compulsive contrarians.

“The contrarians believed that this government could do no good. Every act of it must be opposed,” Jaitley said debunking criticism of the government’s moves like providing 10% quota to the poor among general categories, government measures to check tax and so evasion.

The Facebook post of Jaitley, who is in the US for a medical check, came a day after intense speculation on whether he would be in a position to present the vote on the account during this Budget session beginning January 31.

Jaitley argued that while free speech and the right to dissent are critical components of democracy, falsehood, subversion and institutional destruction are not.

(Published 17 January 2019, 10:44 IST)

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