I do not have the kind of money to contest LS elections: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said she declined the offer of the BJP to contest elections pleading that she did not have the ‘kind of funds’ required for fighting the Lok Sabha polls.

The minister said that the BJP President (J P Nadda) gave her the option to contest either from 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 said.

“I am very grateful that they accepted my argument…So I am not contesting,” she added.

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

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

The ruling BJP has fielded several existing Rajya Sabha members in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, beginning April 19.