In national interest, listen to Manmohan Singh, Shiv Sena tells Centre

NEW DELHI: BJP’s ally Shiv Sena has backed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who recently said that the Indian economy is in a bad shape due to “mismanagement” by the Narendra Modi-government, and said that listening to him is in the “national interest.”

Sena’s support for Manmohan Singh, a noted economist, came after the Centre dismissed his criticism of handling of the economy by the Modi-government. The Sena, through an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, asked the government to pay heed to the former PM’s warning and not indulge in politics over the issue, reported by Hindustan Times.

Last week, Manmohan Singh had termed the state of the economy as “deeply worrying” and said that the June quarter growth rate of 5% shows that India is in the midst of a prolonged economic slowdown. “India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate, but all-round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown,” Singh said in a statement.

However, the government rebuffed Singh’s criticism on Tuesday, saying it does not subscribe to his analysis as India has now become the world’s fifth-largest economy from 11th during his time.

“The economy is in doldrums. Kashmir and economic slowdown are two different issues. A learned person like Manmohan Singh there should be no politics around the economic slowdown and experts should be roped in to repair the economy. National interest lies in listening to Manmohan Singh’s advice,” the editorial in Saamana said.

The Sena said that Singh has the “right” to speak about the economy as he has been associated with Indian finance and economy for over 35 years.

The editorial cited PM Modi’s 2017 raincoat remark on Singh and said, “Prime Minister Modi had said ‘Manmohan Singh bathes wearing a raincoat’, but we don’t have qualms in admitting that he knows about economy and finance. He has worked hard to revive the economy when it was in a bad shape.”

The Sena once again cited demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the main reasons for the slump in the economy. “The noteban failed and the GST has become a noose around the necks of businessmen and industrialists; there is a state of panic in the industry,” it said.

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