CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday compared BJP leaders to Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the French Revolution, for "mocking the poor" of India and said they were worse than her.
His comments came after a BJP MP cited the clothes people wear as evidence that there was no recession.
Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI of France, on being told that the French peasants were unable to afford, had infamously responded that they should develop a taste for "brioche", a form of cake.
In a tweet, Yechury said, "Not only has the BJP created this situation of grave economic crisis and social disharmony, it also wants to mock the poor of this country who are suffering heavily. Their leaders shame Marie Antoinette."
Addressing a programme in Ballia on Sunday, BJP MP Virendra Singh Mast argued they would have worn dhoti-kurtas had the economy been that bad.
"Had there been recession, we would have come here wearing dhoti and kurta and not coats and jackets. Had there been recession we would not have purchased clothes, pants and pajamas," Mast said.
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