A misleading claim about Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, justifying the fall in the value of the Indian rupee as compared to the US dollar, has been doing the rounds on the internet.
On Thursday (May 12), a parody account named ‘Rofl Gandhi 2.0’ mocked the Indian Minister and claimed that she was ‘unaffected’ by the slippage of the Indian rupee, given that her monetary transactions were not in US dollars.
“My family buys groceries & other things with Indian rupees, we don’t use US Dollars. Why should we be concerned about Dollar value then? #RupeeVsDollar,” the parody handle had tweeted.
Netizens share parody tweet about Nirmala Sitharaman as real
Although the satirical tweet took potshots at Nirmala Sitharaman based on another misleading claim attributed to her, several social media users perceived it to be true.
One Dibyendu Halder claimed, “Now I understood, why our economy is not growing because our FM is a non-matric graduate.”
Now I understood, why our economy is not growing, because our FM is a non matric graduate https://t.co/aZbhibu11y— Dibyendu Halder (@Dibyend88338661) May 13, 2022
One Shaukat Azmi claimed, “So foolish and brainless.”
“Wow… What a useless lady… She does not understand anything…She speaks nonsense all the time,” tweeted one Ahmad Raza.
A Twitter user (@rashmisrkfan) inquired, “Did she really said that?”
did she really said that? https://t.co/zkrkKMpgcA— 🌻 (@rashmisrkfan) May 13, 2022
The Truth about the viral claims
In a tweet, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) debunked the claims falsely attributed to Nirmala Sitharaman.
“A picture of Union Finance Minister @nsitharaman is being circulated on social media giving a statement on the value of Rupee and Dollar. #PIBFactCheck:This Claim is #Fake.No such Statement has been given by the Finance Minister,” it had remarked.
A picture of Union Finance Minister @nsitharaman is being circulated on social media giving a statement on the value of Rupee and Dollar.— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) May 15, 2022
▶️ This Claim is #Fake
▶️ No such Statement has been given by the Finance Minister. pic.twitter.com/PDIp9ktSfU
FM Nirmala Sitharaman quoted out on context over onion prices
In December 2019, a cropped video of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying that she did not eat much onion and garlic was being circulated across social media by supporters of opposition parties, to accuse the finance minister of being insensitive towards the issue of soaring onion prices.
In the Lok Sabha, NCP MP Supriya Sule had asked the FM about rising defaults in Mudra loans, the soaring onion prices and the steps that were being taken by the government to tackle the shortage.
As the Finance Minister began to respond to Supriya Sule’s question, an MP intervened and asked her if she ate onions. While responding to his remarks, Nirmala Sitharaman replied, “I do not eat much garlic or onion, I come from a family where we do not bother much about onions.”
The cropped video of the same, without the questions and the context of the discussion, soon hit the social media platforms to mock her and convey to the public that the Finance Minister was being insensitive to them by stating that the price rise did not bother her.