'Modi took lessons from Manmohan'

Last Updated 28 May 2015, 20:35 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took an hour-long lesson on the Indian economy from his predecessor Manmohan Singh after the latter criticised the NDA government on matters related to finance, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), Manmohan Singhji said the economy was not doing well. Immediately, the prime minister invited him for an hour-long paathshala (class). He tried to understand how to run the economy,” Gandhi said at the national convention of the National Students Union of India, the students’ wing of the Congress.

“Perhaps, Manmohan Singhji explained to him how the economy runs. I will ask him,” Gandhi said, drawing a huge round of applause from  university students gathered here from across the country.

The former prime minister’s meeting with Modi had caught the Congress leadership unawares. Many  leaders were mystified about the timing of the meeting that took place hours after Singh had launched a stinging attack on the Modi government’s handling of the economy.

On Wednesday night, AICC media managers scrambled to gather “facts” of the meeting soon after Modi had posted pictures of his “great meeting” with Singh on social media. What stumped them further were the whispers that Singh had sought the meeting on Wednesday afternoon and that it was granted immediately.

Conspiracy theories blew thick and fast as the bureaucrat-turned-politician had called on the prime minister against the backdrop of reports targeting the UPA regime on the 2G spectrum scam.

Modi’s tweets about the meeting did not mention who had sought the meeting. “Very happy to meet Dr Manmohan Singhji and welcome him back to 7RCR. We had a great meeting,” the PMO had said on Twitter. A large section of Congress leaders felt that Singh could have avoided meeting Modi  on the day he had criticised him. The pictures of Modi warmly welcoming his predecessor had taken the sting out of Singh’s attack, they felt.

The Congress tried to set the record straight when it emerged that it was Modi who had expressed desire to meet Singh on Tuesday.

(Published 28 May 2015, 20:35 IST)

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