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BJP ups criticism of UPA's economic policies

Monday, 31 March 2014 - 8:20am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Former finance minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha showered sobriquets on both prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram, while criticising the last 10 years of UPA's economic polices, which saw growth dip to sub-5% levels and inflation go through the roof. Sinha also claimed that with the NDA in office and Narendra Modi as the prime minister of the country, the economic sentiment will get a boost, adding that NDA's key priority will be expenditure reforms.

Sinha said that NDA would like to change the format at Aadhaar and said the BJP-led coalition would prefer the national population registry (NPR) over Aadhaar.

Sinha posed an 18–point questionnaire to finance minister Chidambaram, with key issues being price rise, employment and economic growth. Claiming Chidambaram will be remembered as a spoiler and as an arrogant person, Sinha said, "It seems like it has become his (Chidambaram's) habit that he will get a strong economy, and he will ruin it before he leaves. Shri Chidambaram will be remembered in history as a spoiler, as someone who specialises in sub-five per cent growth rate, for his hubris, arrogance."

The former finance minister said the UPA government's economic policies had been hijacked by the whims of the Congress party and hijacked by the families of its top leaders. "The PM had said in September 2012 that money does not grow on trees. He had said that if the fiscal deficit is unchecked it would be a huge burden on our economy. He said that the last time we faced this problem was in 1991. But when Rahul Gandhi wanted 12 subsidised gas cylinders instead of nine, he promptly allowed it. This led to a burden of Rs 5,000 crore on the government," claimed Sinha. Taking a dig yet again at Singh and Chidambaram, Sinha said both suffer from selective amnesia.

Being asked to react on how could an economist prime minister let the country's economy go into a tailspin, Sinha said, "I would not like to comment, but the definition of economist and his own guru IG Patel suits Manmohan Singh best. Patel has described him as an overrated economist and an underrated politician. I don't think there could be a better description."

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