Rahul Gandhi on Budget 2017

Rahul Gandhi

Reporter: Sir, you said yesterday that the budget had nothing in it for the farmers or the youth and has made no impact on the public. The ‘no impact’ budget should make you happy since you were worried that BJP may use it to get votes. You may recall that your party had sought postponement of the budget in view of the forthcoming elections.

Rahul: See let me explain this in a fundamental manner. Who is really happy in this world? It is either a child or a mad man. Do you know I still have a bit of child in me that is why many call me ‘Papu’. Whenever I hear the name ‘Modi’ I also get a little mad. So there is always some happiness in me and it is not related to the budget.

Reporter: Do you have any comments on the budget presented by the government?

Rahul: See, I think we should first understand the fundamentals of the whole thing. Do you know a rupee has…..er…um (somebody prompted one hundred) one hundred paise?

Reporter: Yes Sir, but we were on the subject of the budget….

Rahul: Now look at what Mr Jaitley has done. He has allocated thousands of crores of rupees to various things but has he even once explained how each paise of each rupee is going to be actually spent? After all as I said each rupee has hundred paise, so it is important to understand how he is going to spend those hundred paise for each rupee allocated.

Reporter: But sir when one is talking of crores of rupees, it is not really important to talk of each paisa.

Rahul: Ah, that is where you are wrong and do not understand the fundamentals of finance and budget. See Mr Modi had promised that he will get the black money from abroad and put fifteen lakh rupees in each citizen’s account. Has he done that? No he could not because he did not go into the fundamentals. If he had gone down to the fundamental paisa level and instead said I will put fifteen paise in each account, he would have been able to do it by now. PM had promised the bullet train about a year ago, have we got it? Safety is a fundamental issue in railways, do we have it? In both cases the budget has not gone into the fundamentals. One has to correlate a bullet to the train and understand the fundamentals of both to see how a bullet train will make railways safe. Do you see the point now?

Reporter: Ah.. Um… Yes Sir that is a brilliant hypothesis on fundamentals. But Sir, coming back to the budget…

Rahul: Yes, budget, it is a very important thing for the country. That is why it is presented every year by the government. You can understand the importance we give to the budget from the fact that all governments led by Congress always presented two budgets every year.

Reporter: Two budgets? But sir there is only one budget…

Rahul: See even you people do not understand anything. We always had a Railway budget and then the other budget, so that is one plus one which makes it two.

Reporter: (trying to hide his smirk) Oh yes Sir, you are very right. But Sir any comments on the budget 2017?

Rahul: See how can I comment on the budget presented by Mr Jaitley? I do not believe in just commenting. I like to go into fundamentals of any issue so that one really understands before saying anything.

Reporter: So Sir, by when can we expect your comments after you have understood the fundamentals of the new budget.

Rahul: See, Congress party is not autocratic like BJP where only one man controls everything. We are a democratic party so what I say or comment is not important. We will have to see what the party feels.

Reporter: Can you please elaborate on this democracy within Congress?

Rahul: Yes surely. See my mother is the party President and did she not make Dr Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister instead of becoming one herself? We like to work as a team and divide responsibilities. See we all know she wants to make me party President now, once again that is being democratic since she already has the responsibility of controlling all the party money.

Reporter: But then Sir is it not undemocratic to keep control of the party within the family? Surely there are other leaders who can be considered for the job of party President?

Rahul: What do you mean? If we have to encourage democracy within the Congress, it is also important that our Gandhi – Nehru family is democratic. That is why we keep passing party control from one to the other within the family as part of our democratic tradition.

Reporter: If that be so, who will control the party after you since you are not married and have no …

Rahul: How can you forget my sister Priyanka Vadra? Why do you forget it was Nehru first, then Gandhi and why can it not be Vadra next?

Reporter: Yes of course and that will be in the democratic traditions of the family too – a mix of Nehru, Gandhi and Vadra. But Sir, what about party funds? Everyone believes that all the money is only controlled by one person.

Rahul: See you people do not understand fundamentals of an organisation. Who controls all the finances in the government?

Reporter: The Finance Minister, Sir.

Rahul: So you see in a democratic government money is controlled by only one person. The other ministers have no control over it. In same way my mother controls all the money in our democratic party. Do you know if you check my kurta pockets now, you will find no money there? That is why I do not get my pockets repaired even if they are torn and have holes. We follow the fundamentals of democracy to the last letter even within the family.

Reporter: But Sir, Priyanka and Robert have a lot of money and they are part of the family.

Rahul: Wrong. See that money has nothing to do with party funds. It has been accumulated by Robert as part of some lucrative business deals that he has made with some very clever and obliging business men. Tell me, did Mr Chidambaram of our party, when he was Finance Minister, ever control the money that his son was making in various business deals? You are confusing the issue here by linking party funds to private funds. You have to get your fundamentals right.

Reporter: Yes Sir … (utterly confused and at a loss for words)

Rahul: Coming to the budget, have you got any other question?

Reporter: Yes Sir, just one fundamental question, but that is for my news editor (…who asked me to interview you).

Saroj Chadha, an engineering professional, is a successful entrepreneur. Having retired from the Indian Army after having served for over 23 years, he has also been a consultant for leading Indian and Multinational electrical companies. He lives in New Delhi.

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