New Delhi: Mocking the absence of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman from pre-Budget meeting being chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress took to Twitter and questioned the absence of the minister.

Congress on its Twitter handle wrote, “How many men does it take to do a woman’s job? #FindingNirmala."

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharamna was not present at the meeting which Prime Minister Narendra Modi held for two hours.

BJP leader Gopal Agarwal lashed out at Congress for their sexist remarks over Nirmala Sitharaman. Gopal Agarwal said, “She was also meeting with various other people.  It is doing an outreach programme on Budget at every level. They are just resorting to false narration and dramatising everything. They should come out with solid plans on improving the Budget rather than doing such things.”

However, this is not the first time Congress has taken a jibe at the finance minister.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had called Nirmala Sitharaman 'Nirbala Sitharaman' (powerless) and had said that he himself is the one standing up in honour and security of only one woman.

He had said, "We do have a lot of respect for you, but sometimes we wonder if it wouldn't be more apt to address you as 'Nirbala' Sitharaman instead of Nirmala Sitharaman. She heads the finance ministry, but we do not know whether you are even able to speak your mind or not."

During the meeting, Narendra Modi, called for a focussed effort from all stakeholders to achieve the target of five trillion-dollar economy in India.

He was interacting with various senior economists, private equity and venture capitalists, business leaders from manufacturing, travel and tourism, apparel and FMCG, analytics, subject experts in the fields of agriculture, science and technology, and finance. The meeting was held at NITI Aayog in the national capital as part of the pre-Budget exercise.

The high-profile meeting was attended by home minister Amit Shah, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, besides Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and other senior officials of the think-tank.

The meeting assumes significance as the government is in the process of formulating Budget proposals for 2020-21, the focus of which is likely to be on accelerating economic growth, which is estimated to slip to an 11-year low of 5% during 2019-20.