Amit Shah was speaking at a Times Now event. “ I have full faith that on basis of 3 million ‘ton’, we can achieve the target of 5 million ‘ton’. We are fully prepared. The country is heading in that direction,” he said.
The gaffe was quickly pounced upon by Tweeples, who made fun of the minister. Some wondered how Times Now would have reacted if instead of Shah, some opposition leader had made the slip ?
Shah need not be faulted for tripping up because Indians are not used to quantify numbers with ‘billions’ and ‘trillions’. Most Indians would be more comfortable saying it in lakhs and Crores, or ‘ arab’ and ‘kharab’ in Hindi. The size of the Indian economy is currently around 2.94 trillion in US Dollars, equal to 294 lakh Crore. But with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fascination for the word ‘trillion’ , Shah meant to say that India was moving towards a ‘ five trillion economy’. He ended up saying ‘ five million ton’.
Slips of the tongue are common among public speakers and Shah himself has fumbled in the past. Last year, during a press conference on NRC, Home Minister tied himself up in knots and called NRC as ‘National Citizens Register of Citizens’ instead of National Register of Citizens. But on Twitter, he was roasted on Friday.