PM misrepresented NDA-regime economic figures: Swaraj

PM misrepresented NDA-regime economic figures: Swaraj

Accusing the prime minister of not speaking the truth about the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime’s outstanding performance, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said Manmohan Singh did not hesitate for a moment when he claimed last year that the economy the UPA government had inherited from the NDA was like a “glass half-full”.

Moving a political resolution on the concluding day of the saffron party's national council, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha recalled that on May 22 last year — the day UPA government completed four years — Singh had said his government had inherited an economy from the previous NDA regime which was like a “half-empty glass”, and that is why it took time for them to fill the remaining portion.

She reminded Singh what his finance minister P Chidambaram had said in his first budget speech immediately after the UPA came to power in 2004.

“The economic fundamentals appear strong and the balance of payment is robust,” Chidambaram had told Parliament, acknowledging robust economic fundamentals the NDA had left behind, she said. “We had given you a full glass, but you have done the job of emptying it,” quipped Swaraj. The NDA government had left behind an economy growing at a robust 8.4 per cent, which slowed down to 4.5 per cent under Singh, she said.

She also took on the prime minister for his comment at the just-held Congress conclave in which Singh had referred to interventions by the Comptroller and Auditor General which highlighted a series of scams against the UPA and central vigilance commission for slump in the country’s economic growth. Expressing shock over such remarks coming from the prime minister, the senior leader said, “We don’t want growth which is built on corruption.”

The opposition leader also blamed Singh for resorting to doublespeak. She recalled that he, as leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha during the NDA regime, had requested the then deputy prime minister L K Advani to differentiate between refugees and infiltrators while handling Bangladesh influx in Assam — the North-Eastern state he represents in the Upper House. But, after becoming prime minister, he has forgotten about it, she said.

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