The Indian economy is doing well and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was used as a "puppet" by "people behind the scene", the BJP's Sambit Patra said on Monday, counterattacking the Congress veteran for his "man-made crisis" remark amid a financial slowdown.
"He (Mr Singh) was an economist but people behind the scenes used him as a puppet to impose their laws and promote corruption and nepotism. What kind of injustice it did to Indian economy we all know," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Mr Singh, referring to the economic slowdown, "urged" the government to "steer" the country out of the "man-made" crisis.
"India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics, and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis," Dr Manmohan Singh said in a video statement on Sunday.
"The last quarter's GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown," he said, adding that the country has the potential to grow at a much faster rate.
Growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 5 per cent in the first quarter of current financial year (2019-20), compared with 5.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 8.0 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, 2018.
Many crucial sectors like auto and real estate are facing dwindling sales. Thousands of jobs have been reportedly lost due to the slowdown.
The BJP spokesperson, however, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a strong economy.
"The world economy is facing a slowdown but we can say with happiness that the Indian economy is doing well... because of strong base and fundamentals, our economy is doing quite well," he said.
Dr Manmohan Singh is widely recognised for the economic reforms which he announced in 1991 when he was the Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao government.
During his tenure as the Prime Minister, Mr Singh had come under severe criticism from the BJP, which said that he was running a "remote-controlled" government, suggesting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was at the helm of affairs.
With inputs from PTI