New Delhi: ‘‘Who is the Finance Minister of India? PMO (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office) website says one thing and the Finance Ministry website tells another story,’’ pointed out Congress leader Manish Tewari on Monday.
The PMO website refers to Arun Jaitley as “Minister without Portfolio” and Goyal is described as the minister in charge of finance along with railways, coal and corporate affairs. The website was updated on May 14. The finance ministry website has Jaitley as minister. ‘‘The gentleman designated without portfolio on PMO website is holding meetings via video conference. So, the PM needs to tell the country who is his Finance Minister,” Tewari said, warming up to his theme.
Piyush Goyal was given additional charge of the finance ministry in May, when Jaitley was in hospital for surgery. Jaitley has since returned home. In response, BJP parliamentarian Subramanain Swamy tweeted: “Our party spokesperson should answer this.” He further wants to know whether the finance ministry has seceded from the NaMO government. When Goyal started handling the finance ministry, it was always a Ramayana-like situation — in which Piyush Goyal, as the proverbial Bharat, was handling the affairs of the finance ministry till Arun Jaitley’s return, a senior BJP minister was quoted as saying by a news portal.
Commenting on the incongruity of it all, Tewari said: “This is a funny government, where the Finance Minister writes a blog on legal affairs, the Law and Justice Minister holds forth on Defence affairs, the Defence Minister holds forth on Nirav Modi and finance affairs. So, the entire concept of collective responsibility has been completely redefined by the NDA-BJP Government, whereby no Minister is responsible for the affairs of his own Ministry.”