Manmohan Singh says Narendra Modi government 'systematically denigrating' Parliament and CBI's credibility
Manmohan Singh also alleged that demonetisation did not achieve any of the objectives stated by the Narendra Modi government and no black money was recovered.
As political parties pitch for the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls of 2019, former prime minister Manmohan Singh criticising the Narendra Modi-led government said careful efforts to weaken democracy were being made in the Modi regime and “credibility of institutions like Parliament and CBI are being systematically denigrated.”
At a press briefing in Indore, Manmohan said, “Careful, well-thought-out and calibrated efforts are carried out to weaken democracy in the Modi regime and the rule of law has come under attack.” Criticising the government policies of demonetisation and GST, Manmohan added: “Demonetisation was a monumental failure and the Modi government will never accept this.”
In a veiled reference to developments in RBI and CBI, he said the Modi government is trying to prevail over big institutions, adding this was detrimental to democracy and law of the land. "The relationship between the RBI and Finance Ministry has hit a low," the former Union finance minister said, adding there is a need for "harmony and coordination".
"The RBI governor and finance minister have a delicate relationship. Both have to work together. Even though the job of running the country rests with the government, specific responsibility is given to the RBI governor by the RBI Act. There is a need to recognise inter dependence of the two entities and work in harmony," he said.
"I am happy with the efforts being made to bring reconciliation. Both need to work in harmony with each other," he said.
He termed demonetisation as "organised loot and legalised plunder". "This is a done act and can't be reverted. It is up to the people to get rid of the government which brought them on this disastrous path," he said.
The note ban and the "flawed" Goods and Services Tax (GST) of the NDA government have caused a "great damage" to the unorganised sector, Singh said. The note ban failed to achieve its goal, he added.
Asked about his 2014 comments that Modi as Prime Minister would be a disaster to the country, he said he did not want to comment on his earlier remarks. "I used harsh words which I should not have. Now people will make the decision," he added.
Manmohan accused Modi of misusing the Prime Minister's post. "It does not befit the PM to abuse political opponents," he said, adding Modi was using "unparliamentary words" against the opposition.
The Rafale deal needs a thorough investigation through a Joint Parliamentary Committee, he said. "Modi is not going in for constitution of the JPC, which gives an impression that something is amiss", he said, adding this has given rise to a "great deal of suspicion" in the minds of people.
On steps needed to improve the economy, Singh said infrastructure investment should increase national savings rate should be encouraged.
"In our (Congress-led regime) time, the national saving rate was 35 to 36 percent. Now it is 28 percent," he said. If the GDP rate needs to grow to 10 per cent, the national savings rate and infrastructure investment needs to grow, he added.
Asked if the Congress will be able to revive itself, Singh said the party faced problems since the 2014 elections. "The reason was the ability of the opposition to mislead the media and the general public about the so-called corruption and we were not able to carry the conviction to convey our point of view," he said.
He denied Modi's claim that the UPA government led by him was a "remote-controlled" one. "The success of my government was because the party and government were on one page. There was no difference of opinion," he said.
The BJP promised to bring back money stashed in banks abroad but this turned out to be a hollow claim, he said.
The Modi government's "Make in India" programme has proved to be just a jumla (stunt) and it promised to generate two crore jobs annually but this has turned out to a gimmick, he said.
He also rubbished Modi's claim that the UPA government discriminated against Madhya Pradesh. "Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should stand a witness to it," he said.
"Vyapam (an entrance examination, admission and recruitment scam unearthed in Madhya Pradesh in 2013) marred the future of the state's youth, while Narmada river has been plundered by the sand mafia," Singh said.
With inputs from PTI
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The Congress leaders made the comments in reference to reports of a BJP MLA and his son allegedly taking away a man accused of harassing a woman from police custody on Saturday
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The BJP veteran served as chief minister of Gujarat in 1995 and then from 1998 to 2001. He was succeeded by Narendra Modi, who held the post till he became prime minister in 2014