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Manmohan Singh hits back at Nirmala Sitharaman: Government obsessed with trying to fix blame on opponents

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 18 October 2019, 11:03 IST

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, hitting back at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comment holding him accountable for the banking setback, stated that the government is obsessed with trying to fix blame on it’s opponents instead of addressing the issue.

Manmohan Singh also cited the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperation bank setback, which has affected 16 lakh investors, and stated the BJP government at the centre and Maharashtra were resistant to endorse people friendly strategies.

"I have just seen the statements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. I won't like to comment on that statement, but before one can fix the economy, one needs a correct diagnosis of its ailments and their causes. The government is obsessed with trying to fix blame on its opponent, thus it is unable to find a solution that will ensure revival of the economy," Manmohan Singh said

"When I was in office what happened did happen. There were some weaknesses. But you can't claim that the fault lies with the UPA always. You have been in office for five years. Mainly passing buck to UPA is not enough," added Dr Singh.

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Previously, Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that, she held Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan responsible for subjecting public sector banks to the worst phase.

"I have no reason to doubt that Rajan feels for every word of what he is saying. And I'm here today, giving him his due respect, but also placing the fact before you that Indian public sector banks did not have a worst phase than when the combination of Singh and Rajan, as Prime Minister and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had. At that time, none of us knew about it," Nirmala Sitharaman had told at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in New York.

The Finance Minister said it was during Mr Rajan’s term as RBI governor that loans were provided just based on phone calls from crony leaders. "Dr Singh was the Prime Minister and I'm sure Dr Rajan will agree that Dr Singh would have had a consistent articulated vision for India," Ms Sitharaman said.

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The Finance Minister was replying to a query on Mr Rajan’s recent comments seen to be directed towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that only internal cohesion and economic growth at not majoritarianism will assist strengthen India’s security.

Bad loans at public sector banks rose from Rs 9,190 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 2.16 lakh crore in 2013-14, as per the RBI. The BJP led National Democratic Alliance governmend came to power in May 2014.

Both Manmohan Singh and Mr Rajan have been vicious nitpickers of the economic policies of the government, including demonetisation.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal slammed Dr Singh. "Dr Manmohan Singh should reflect on his own failures, where he went wrong, why he couldn't maintain a strong economy and give an honest government, why he was so helpless that he had to obey orders from 10 Janpath and had no capacity to take his own decisions," he said, repeating the ruling party's stand that Dr Singh was a puppet at the hands of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

First published: 17 October 2019, 18:26 IST