Nation moving towards becoming a banana republic: Sena

Last Updated 05 September 2018, 09:12 IST

The country is moving towards becoming a "banana republic", the Shiv Sena alleged on Wednesday, while lashing out at its senior ally BJP over the depreciating value of the rupee and all-time high fuel prices.

In remarks laced with sarcasm, the party said the rupee was plunging to a new record low against the US dollar, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was busy holding the Congress responsible for ruining the nation's economy, forgetting that he has been in power for four years now.

"The fuel prices are sky-rocketing. Petrol will soon touch the Rs 100-mark. Scores of unemployed youth will come out on streets and spread anarchy. Farmers are not happy. Prices of foodstuffs, cooking gas and CNG have increased. New investments have decreased," the Sena said.

"The country's picture is heart-wrenching and we are moving towards being a banana republic," it cautioned in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

If the rupee's slide continues, it will soon cross the Rs 100-mark against the US dollar, warned the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

It noted that when the BJP was in the opposition, it used to say that with the rupee's depreciating value, the country's reputation slides as well.

"Now, if the rupee nears the 100-mark against the dollar, should it be said our nation's image is improving?" the Sena quipped.

Referring to a recent report by the World Bank, it said at a time when the Indian currency is on its "deathbed", claiming that the country is the sixth biggest economy of the world is "laughable".

The Niti Ayog blamed former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan for ruining the country's economy through steps taken by him for the recovery of bad loans. But, the rupee has slid much lower than it did during Rajan's tenure, it said.

Rajan had opposed the government's demonetisation decision and he was against the Centre spending thousands of crores for its publicity, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party claimed.

"He was of the opinion that this was a loot of the exchequer. However, those in power are liars, hungry about their own self-image and of their own advertisement, therefore shunted him out," the Marathi publication said.

There is a "misinformation" campaign going on that the country's economy is strong despite a weak rupee, which people fail to comprehend, it said.

"All this is not a sign of the world's sixth largest economy. Holding the Congress and Raghuram Rajan responsible for a faltering economy is a joke. Tell us what have you done? But the government has nothing to say," the editorial said.

Further taunting the BJP, it said the party is planning to remove the Jawaharlal Nehru memorial in the Teen Murti Bhavan complex, holding elections through EVMs, calling Congress chief Rahul Gandhi names in a probable bid to improve the country's economy and halt the rupee's slide.

The domestic currency was at a lifetime low of 71.58 against the resurgent dollar Tuesday but strengthened by 20 paise to 71.38 against the USD in opening trade at the interbank foreign exchange market Wednesday.

(Published 05 September 2018, 09:05 IST)

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