In a riposte to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday said he won't watch silently when the Indian economy was facing "cheerharan" -- like Bhishma when Draupadi was disrobed in the Mahabharata.
Replying to Modi's speech on Wednesday in which he compared his critics to Shalya, the demoralising character in the Mahabharata, Sinha said he was not sure who was being likened to him.
"I only want to say, if we are talking in terms of Mahabharata, I cannot watch in silence like Bhishmapitamah when Draupadi was subjected to 'cheerharan' (disrobed). I won't let the same happen (with economy)," the former Finance Minister told Aaj Tak TV.
Modi in his address to the Institute of Company Secretaries of India on Wednesday said his critics were suffering from "shalya vrutti" who "sleep well only after they spread a feeling of pessimism all around".
Sinha said Modi "doesn't listen" but "only speaks".
"When the Prime Minister speaks, nobody can question. He makes his speech, then there are cheers and it ends there."
He said he wanted to ask what the BJP would say about the promises Modi made before coming to power when the 2019 Lok Sabha election takes place.
"Nobody is going to ask us how our performance was as compared to UPA. The UPA is history. They will ask us about the promises we made. Have we fulfilled them?"
In another TV interview, Sinha said it was not important to know who was pessimist or optimist.
"Failure or success is not important. What is important is the issues being raised by me and by others must be tackled. The basic purpose of my raising these issues was to bring them to the notice of the government and encourage the government to be able to find a solution to the problems confronting the economy now," he said.
He said personal attacks won't work for the Prime Minister. He said nobody was judging the economy on the basis of one quarter.
"We are aware of the fact that it has been declining quarter after quarter... It has been 5 to 6 quarters now.. not just one."
Sinha said the GDP growth was 5.7 per cent in the last quarter of the last financial year and he didn't speak up.
"When the same continued, the impression was that the slowdown is here to stay and we will take every effective steps in order to ensure that we get out of this slowdown.
"The purpose was to apprise the government of the situation that they were not aware, to sensitise them so that they move forward. The government goes to town, beating its drums at the slightest indication of progress. You can't have one yardstick for yourself and another for the other."