I don't have money to contest polls: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has revealed that she turned down the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) invitation to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections due to financial constraints. Speaking at the TIMES NOW Summit 2024, Sitharaman disclosed that BJP President J P Nadda offered her the opportunity to contest from either Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu.

“After thinking over a week or ten days, I just went back to say… maybe not. I do not have that kind of money to contest. I also have a problem whether it is Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. It’s also going to be a question of various other winnability criteria that they use…Are you from this community or are you from that religion? Are you from this? I said no, I do not think I am going to able to do it,” she explained.

Sitharaman expressed gratitude that her reasoning was accepted by the party leadership. “I am very grateful that they accepted my argument…So I am not contesting,” she added.

Responding to queries regarding her financial situation, especially as the Finance Minister, Sitharaman clarified, “My salary, my earnings, my savings are mine and not the Consolidated Fund of India.”

The ruling BJP has nominated several incumbent Rajya Sabha members for the Lok Sabha elections commencing on April 19. Notable names among them are Piyush Goyal, Bhupender Yadav, Rajiv Chandrasekhar, Mansukh Mandaviya, and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Sitharaman herself is a Rajya Sabha member representing Karnataka.

Despite not contesting, Sitharaman affirmed her commitment to the electoral process. “I will also be attending a lot of media events. And going with the candidates like tomorrow I will be going for Rajiv Chandrasekhar campaign and so yes, I’ll be on the campaign trail,” she stated.

William Murphy

Related post