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I do not have that kind of money to contest polls: Nirmala Sitharaman

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I do not have that kind of money to contest polls: Nirmala Sitharaman
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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she thought a week or ten days over the BJP’s offer for her to contest polls before she declined it.

She declined the BJP's offer because she did not have the 'kind of fund' required to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

BJP President JP Nadda gave her the option to contest either from Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu, she said.

"After thinking for a week or ten days, I 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 said at the TIMES NOW Summit 2024.

"I am very grateful they accepted my argument... So I am not contesting," she added.

When asked why the country's finance minister does not have enough funds to fight elections, she said that the Consolidated Fund of India does not belong to her.

She said, "My salary, my earnings, and my savings are mine and not the Consolidated Fund of India".

The ruling BJP fielded several existing Rajya Sabha members in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, beginning April 19. These include Piyush Goyal, Bhupender Yadav, Rajiv Chandrasekhar, Mansukh Mandaviya, and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Ms Sitharaman is a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.

The minister said that she will be campaigning for other candidates.

"I will attend a lot of media events and go with the candidates - like tomorrow I will be going for Rajiv Chandrasekhar's campaign. I'll be on the campaign trail," she added.

PTI with edits

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TAGS:Nirmala SitharamanNew DelhiIndia NewsLok Sabha Elections 2024
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