Days after Narendra Modi's barb of "recounting minister" targeting Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, another senior BJP leader today hit out at him over handling of the economy and dubbing him "4.8 per cent growth Minister".
"Whenever he took over (reins of Finance Ministry), there had been dip in the country's growth rate," former finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said without naming Chidambaram, adding his "arrogance had no limits."
Addressing a meeting on the current state of affairs organised here by BJP, Sinha, also a former Finance Minister, said country's growth rate had plummeted from over eight per cent to less than five per cent when BJP took over in 1999.
The NDA Government had to pull back the economy battling many challenges.
When the Vajpayee Government demitted office in 2004, the growth rate was 8.4 per cent but now it had slid back to 4.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent, he said.
"The great Finance Minister is not only a recounting minister (as dubbed by Modi). He is also a 4.8 per cent growth minister. Because if you put him in the Finance Ministry the growth rate will come down," Sinha said recalling Chidambaram's earlier tenure as Finance Minister.
Modi during a rally here earlier this month had made the remark in an apparent reference to Chidambaram's victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls after a recount of votes.
Referring to Chidambaram as "just a distinguished gentleman" from Tamil Nadu who heads the Finance Ministry, Sinha said "his arrogance has no limit."
He can neither win from any of the Lok Sabha 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry nor from any other constituency in the country, Sinha claimed.
He criticised Chidambaram for reducing the plan size in the current year thus taking credit for bringing down fiscal deficit.
He also took a dig at the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he seemed to have come "straight out of Madame Tussads wax museum (in London)" as he did not even show any emotion during the Telangana debate in Parliament.
Questioning Singh on his insistance in going ahead with the Indo-US neclear deal, Sinha, a former External Affairs Minister, sought to know "how may mega watts of nuclear power had been added as result of that effort."
Sinha also said that unlike the BJP led NDA regime, the UPA Government was not handling relations with Sri Lanka properly.
If his party under Modi was voted back to power, solutions would be found to the satisfaction of both Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian fishermen, he maintained.