Former prime minister Manmohan Singh minced no words on March 18, while accusing the Modi Government of “messing up” the economy, spouting “jumla” (rhetoric) with pipe dreams about generating 2 crore jobs and doubling farm incomes.
He also reportedly slammed the BJP-led government for having “mismanaged” the dispute in Jammu and Kashmir and said the governments talk of fighting two and a half wars was “yet another hollow promise”.
Singh, while addressing the 84th Congress plenary session, lamented that only about 1.6 per cent of the country’s GDP was spent on defence expenditure, which, he was quoted as saying, could not meet the challenges that the security apparatus posed.
He also reportedly alleged that there were many issues on the foreign policy front that had been poorly handled by the Modi government.
“We also must recognise that the Modi government has mismanaged the Jammu and Kashmir problem as never before,” he said.
Singh said the two wings of the government in the state were working against each other and the atmosphere was “deteriorating day in and day out”.
“That is obvious from the fact that our borders are not secure, whether it is cross-border terrorism or internal terrorism, internal insurgency. There are today issues which are a source of great worry to all our citizens,” he said.
The Modi government, he said, possibly feels that these issues will get sorted out on their own. “Thats not going to happen,” he added.
On Pakistan, Singh reportedly said India must recognise it as a neighbour but expressed concern over Islamabads support to cross-border terrorism.
“That certainly is not acceptable to us. We must, therefore, warn Pakistan that this is a path which is mutually destructive of peace and prosperity in the sub-continent,” he was quoted as saying.
“It is as much in the interest of Pakistan as in the interest of India that our two countries must sort out all problems sitting together peacefully and give up this path of support of terrorist elements emanating from across the border,” he noted.
On the economy, which he claimed grew by 7.8 per cent under the UPA regime led by him, Singh rued that at a time the world economy had grown from 2.8 per cent to 3.8 per cent from 2014 to 2018, the Indian economy had “decoupled itself” from the world economy, reported PTI.
Quoting the Economic Survey, the former prime minister said it brings out the inadequacies of the BJP governments approach to solving social and economic problems.
“The BJP government has messed up the economy. When Modi ji was campaigning he made lots of tall promises. Those promises have not been fulfilled,” he reportedly said.
Singh said the BJP claimed in 2014 that if it came to power it would provide 2 crore jobs. “But we have not seen even two lakh jobs,” he added.