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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Modi's criticism of budget like schoolboy debate: Chidambaram

PTI  New Delhi, February 18, 2014
First Published: 13:55 IST(18/2/2014) | Last Updated: 14:06 IST(18/2/2014)

Finance minister P Chidambaram once again called BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as the one who "likes fake encounter with facts", while dismissing the Gujarat leader's criticism of the interim budget akin to a debate with Class 8 schoolboys.

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"I don't want to take the level of this debate to a class 8 school boys' debate," Chidambaram said.

"What does he mean by a decade of decay? The fact is that we are delivering growth above the trend growth rate. I have pointed out that the growth rate in 1999-2004 was below the trend growth rate.

He said the last decade ruled by the UPA was the best in terms of growth during the past 33 years.

Interim Budget 2014: Chidambaram goes big on the element of surprise

"Now these are facts. Now, he (Modi) likes fake encounter with facts. I don't think the media should join and repeat his tweets," Chidambaram told PTI in an interview here.

The finance minister was reacting to Modi's comments that the interim budget was "a final act of misery after a decade of decay".

"The only solace one gets from the vote-on-account is that this was UPA's final act of misery after a decade of decay and policy paralysis," Modi had tweeted.     

Modi had also remarked that "it was up to the people to decide whether the economist PM and FM have been hard working or hardly working".
 
Chidambaram and Modi have been locked in a war of words over economy. The FM was critical of Modi's knowledge of economy when he said "it can be written on back of postal stamp".

Read: highlights of P Chidambaram's interim budget 2014

Modi had accused Chidambaram of mishandling economy and taunted him a few days ago saying that high growth rate in Gujarat was because of his hard work and not education in Harvard University.

On Monday, Chidambaram hit back at Modi in his budget speech, saying, "My mother and Harvard taught me the value of hard work."

On February 9, Chidambaram hit back at Narendra Modi for taunting him repeatedly as a "recount minister"(claiming the FM won in 2009 polls after a recount of votes).

Chidambaram said "the Gujarat chief minister has once again staged a "fake encounter" with facts on the issue and that there was never a recount in the 2009 Lok Sabha election in his constituency in Sivganga.


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Weeks before the Lok Sabha elections, finance minister P Chidambaram reached out to a wide swathe of voters —youth, minorities, Dalits, tribals, women, farmers and the middle class — who had formed the core support base of the Congress-led UPA in the 2004 and 2009 general elections.

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