Maharashtra 2019

Congress doesn’t need certificate of patriotism from BJP or RSS: Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh, Former Prime Minister of India addressing at a meeting ' Words of Wisdom on Indian Economy' organised by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee in Mumbai on October 17, 2019.

Manmohan Singh, Former Prime Minister of India addressing at a meeting ' Words of Wisdom on Indian Economy' organised by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee in Mumbai on October 17, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Paul Noronha

He rued that Maharashtra, which used to be a leading State in attracting investments, is now leading in farmer suicides.

Hitting out at the BJP-led governments in both Centre and Maharashtra, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the governments are unwilling to take up people-oriented policies.

In Mumbai to campaign for the Congress-NCP alliance, Dr. Singh also said his party doesn’t need a certificate on patriotism from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A large part of Dr. Singh’s speech focused on the economy. He rued that Maharashtra, which used to be a leading State in attracting investments, is now leading in farmer sucides.

“The obsession with low inflation is inflicting miseries on our farmers. The Centre’s export import policy is making life worse for farmers," Dr. Singh said. He also noted Mumbai and Maharashtra have borne the worst of the brunt of the industrial slowdown.

Referring to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remark that public sector banks had the “worst phase” under Dr. Singh and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, the former Prime Minister said: “I won’t like to comment on it... Before one can fix the economy one needs a diagnosis of what ails it. But the government is focused on pinning blame on the Opposition.”

Noting that Maharashtra has witnessed one of the highest factory shutdowns in the last five years, Dr. Singh said as demand has contracted, business sentiment was down around the state and many businesses were facing closure.

Dr. Singh was not ready to buy the government’s argument of blaming the UPA for the economic mess. “There were some weaknesses [during my tenure]. But this government has been in office for five and a half years and they should have come up with a credible solution for the problems that still affect us. Nirav Modi ran away and banks problems are getting worse. You can’t keep passing the buck to UPAs tenure.”

“I think the BJP govt has contributed a large measure of the discomfort our people face,” Dr. Singh said citing demonetisation and unemployment. He also claimed one in three urban youth was unemployed.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:05:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/maharashtra-assembly/congress-doesnt-need-certificate-of-patriotism-from-bjp-or-rss-manmohan-singh/article29725378.ece

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