New Delhi, Feb 15 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has strongly denied quotes attributed to her by a report in The Print where she is quoted as snubbing industrialists and saying "I dont understand Bombay people".
In an astonishing turn of events, Sitharaman went on to ask, "if this is parody or calumny" and said the quotes attributed to her by The Print are not hers.
"Is this parody? If not and if serious, this is calumny. The quotes attributed to me are not mine," the Finance Minister said in a tweet early on Saturday.
Attached with her tweet is a report in The Print titled, "Why Nirmala Sitharaman doesn't understand 'Bombay people'".
According to the report in The Print, at a post-Budget interaction with the captains of industry in Mumbai last week, she was confronted with probing questions on the rationale and impact of the continuance of the long-term capital gains tax as also the abolition of the dividend distribution tax.
The report said that at one point, she snubbed an eminent participant, who is known as the doyen of investment banking in India, saying, "I have done everything for you. What more do you want now?" The report went on to say that she didn't leave it at that. While leaving, she told them, "I don't understand Bombay people. We have done everything but it is still 4.3 per cent (growth rate in the third quarter of this fiscal). What have you done?" As per The Print report, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is known to rub people the wrong way, especially when she finds herself cornered.
The report ends by saying that former US President John F. Kennedy couldn't have imagined how his famous quote would come to the rescue of an Indian government one day -- "Ask not what your country can do for you..."