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You have had five years, stop blaming my govt: Manmohan to NDA

MUMBAI: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Thursday that the Narendra Modi government should stop blaming the UPA for every economic crisis. He said that Modi had five years of sufficient time to come up with solutions. He conceded that there were some “weaknesses” in his regime.

Singh was addressing a press conference ahead of Maharashtra elections. He also replied to a question on finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comments in the US. She had said the banking sector passed through its worst phase during the tenures of Singh and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.

The NDA government should have learned from the UPA’s “mistakes,” and provided “credible solutions,” Singh said. Had the NDA government learned from the mistakes, fraud-accused jeweler Nirav Modi and other loan defaulters would not have fled with public money. The banks’ situation would not have gone from “bad to worse,” Singh said.

“You cannot claim year after year that the fault lies with the UPA (United Progressive Alliance). He added that you have been in office for five and a half years. He feels that it is a long enough period. Merely passing the buck to the UPA regime is no solution to India’s problems,” the former PM said.

Singh talked about his tenure as prime minister between 2004-14. he said, “What happened did happen. There were some weaknesses.” But this government has been in office for five and a half years. By now it should have learned from our mistakes.  They should have provided credible solutions to those problems which are still affecting our economy,” he said.

“You may score some brownie points, but you are not finding solutions to the problems of the suffering humanity of our country,” Singh added. Earlier, he said, “Before one can fix the economy, one needs a correct diagnosis of its ailments. The government is obsessed about somehow trying to fix blame on the opponents. In the process, it is unable to find the solutions that will ensure the revival of the economy.”

Singh said India is in a “vicious slowdown” . He pegged the only “feasible” rate of growth that can be achieved now at 5.5-6 percent, much below the 8-10 percent essential to address India’s needs.

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