A stable UPA government and the steps it has taken are responsible for the market rally, and not some kind of “hope,” Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said, dismissing suggestions that the likelihood of a Narendra Modi-led government after the Lok Sabha elections could be responsible for it.

“The rally is due to the fact of a stable government... not because of some kind of fond hope,” he said, hitting out at the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, who was known to favour “crony capitalism.”

In the past 18 months, the government had taken measures to strengthen the economy, he told NDTV in an interview. “We have contained the fiscal deficit, we have contracted the current account deficit substantially, we have added to our reserves, we have tamed inflation. I only wish that the firm hand on the wheel can continue for some time.”

He also refuted the suggestion that Mr. Modi was seen to be growth-oriented. “Even [Mr.] Modi won’t make such an extravagant claim... It’s obvious that big business, and I am using the word big with capital B. Big business is supporting the BJP, but that’s because Mr. Modi is known to favour crony capitalism.”

More In: National | News