Chidambaram hits back at Jaitley for his ‘compulsive contrarian’ remark

P Chidambaram said he was glad that former police officer Julio Ribeiro has "upbraided" the Delhi police for its "biased handling" of the Delhi riots case. File photo: PTI

If a person disagreeing with the government is a “compulsive contrarian”, can someone who always agrees with it be called “his master’s voice”, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram asked on March 20, hitting back at the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The finance minister has slammed 108 economists and social scientists as “compulsive contrarians” for raising concern over “political interference” to influence statistical data. In his blog published on March 19, Jaitley had said these “compulsive contrarians” have repeatedly signed memorandums of what he said was manufactured political issues against the present government.

Responding to Jaitley, Chidambaram tweeted, “According to Jaitley, one who disagrees with the government is a ‘compulsive contrarian’. Can we then say that anyone who always agrees with the government is ‘his master’s voice’?” As many as 108 economists and social scientists, including Jean Dreze (Allahabad University), Emily Breza (Harvard University), Satish Deshpande (Delhi University), Esther Duflo (MIT, US) and Jayati Ghosh (JNU), had made an appeal last week, expressing their concern over “political interference” in influencing statistical data in India.