Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Centre's economic policies, and wanted to know whether there was a lack of coordination between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
"After 20 years, Manmohan Singh has once again become the Finance Minister. In the last 24 hours he has been taking steps and announcing polices for economic reforms. What was the reason that being the PM you were not able to make the same announcements in the last eight years but you are doing so in the last 24 hours after your Finance Minister resigned? Was your Finance Minister not listening to you? Or was there lack of co-ordination between you and Finance Minister?" Mr Modi asked at a function in Ahmedabad.
In Delhi, another Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said the Prime Minister is an "overrated economist" and an "underrated politician". He squarely blamed the UPA government for creating a "financial mess" in the country. Reacting after to Dr Manmohan Singh's assurances that economic growth will be restored, Mr Sinha quipped the Prime Minister was only a "consultant" to the government.
"You know he has been prime minister for eight years, before that he was finance minister for five years and clearly, he had all the opportunity in the world to implement what he believes in. Now, at the end of eight years, he cannot say this should be done and that should be done," he added.
In an interview published in the English daily, The Hindustan Times, the Prime Minister had said, "There is no realisation that a reversal to an earlier era is neither possible nor desirable; even a neighbour like China has understood the logic of an open economy and is developing the institutional framework which is required for this". Dr Manmohan Singh had refuted charges of corruption against his government, saying, "I do not think there has been any explosion in corruption under my watch".
Mr Sinha said this was "laughable".
Mr Sinha added that the Prime Minister should not blame his government's failures on the previous NDA government or the international financial climate. "The mess is domestically created and it is the government which has created the mess. This is something which has to be understood. I went through his interview and I find that he is constantly offering alibis, you know, and the worst part of it is that he says they had to undo what we did, when we were in the government," said Mr Sinha.