The Indian Express
New Delhi, Sep 12: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a swipe at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying India requires a “concrete plan to fix the economy” and not “foolish theories about millenials”.
The Congress leader’s remarks came two days after Sitharaman claimed that the slowdown in India’s automobile market is due to the “mindset of millennials”, who now prefer to travel by app-based cab services.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said, “What India needs isn’t propaganda, manipulated news cycles & foolish theories about millennials, but a concrete plan to #FixTheEconomy that we can all get behind.”
“Acknowledging that we have a problem is a good place to start,” he added.
While speaking in Chennai, Sitharaman had said that the slowdown in auto sales can be traced back to a number of factors, including the transition to Bharat Stage VI emission norms, higher registration fees — and studies that point to millennials not wanting to commit to EMIs to buy a vehicle and instead preferring cab and Metro services.
However, a top official of the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India disagreed with the minister’s remarks and said millennials opting for ride-hailing services like Ola and Uber may not be that strong a factor for the current slowdown.
Ownership pattern in India still has not changed and people purchase cars with an “aspirational aspect”, MSI Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) Shashank Srivastava had told PTI in an interview. The minister’s comments also comments went viral and resulted in the hashtag #BoycottMillennials, which people used with jokes and memes.