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BJP holds PM responsible for economic mess

New Delhi, July 6, 2012, DHNS: 1:32 IST
Yashwant Sinha File photo
The BJP on Friday attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for shifting the blame on former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee for the current economic mess.

The opposition party stated that he was “party” to all the decisions taken by the UPA government. Senior Congress leader Mukherjee had recently quit as finance minister to contest the presidential poll.

Reacting to the prime minister’s interview published in an English newspaper, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, sharing his own experience as finance minister during the NDA regime, narrated that a finance minister meets about five times with the prime minister to give shape to policy issues – including on tax reforms and fiscal deficit – before presenting a budget.

“Singh passed the buck on finance minister to come out clean. This is something he has done all throughout in his life,” Sinha charged, lowering the political blame game to a personal level.

During the press conference held on Friday at the BJP Ashoka Road office, Sinha used various occasions to take potshots at Singh, who is internationally perceived as a noted economist. He claimed that even his guru Dr I G Patel had once remarked that “he is an underrated politician and overrated economist.

“He is speaking as if he is chief consultant to government of India and not prime minister,” was Sinha’s another verbal whiplash.

However, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said that Sinha’s jibe at the prime minister was his personal opinion.

The prime minister’s assertion that the challenging times the economy was facing was largely due to global developments, especially Eurozone crisis, too was assailed by the MP from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.

The senior BJP leader took a leaf from a global economic research consultancy’s recent report—that said India’s economic troubles are mostly “self-inflicted” and the situation is unlikely to change till 2014 – to counter Singh’s attempt to hide his government’s policy paralysis.

The same report, he asserted, reveals that many economies which are far more open than India’s have taken less beating, indicating that sound domestic economic policies could have weathered out global fissures.

“Even today the government is living in denial by attributing the economic failures to global phenomenon,” Sinha charged.

The BJP leader mocked the government, saying that it appeared that all the problems the country was facing was due to the six-year-rule of the NDA. “If that is so, I’m sorry,” he said.

The prime minister, replying to a question on the perception about policy paralysis in the government had told the newspaper that they had to undo various decisions taken by the NDA government.

Sinha also pointed out that the prime minister’s view on various subjects concerning the nation confirmed what the party had been saying for long.

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