Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was unusually silent on the state of the economy and had left his ministers to indulge in "bluff and bluster".
The former Union finance minister, who spent 106 days in jail and was released on bail on Wednesday, said the BJP government believed problems faced by the economy were cyclical even after seven months of this financial year.
"The government is clueless on the economy, it is stubborn and mulish in defending catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST, tax terrorism.
"PM has been unusually silent on the economy, has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster. The economy can be brought out of the slowdown, but this government incapable of doing that," said Chidambaram.
“We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5%. Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian’s caution that 5% under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5% but less by about 1.5%”, he added.
He took part in the protest held by the Congress outside the parliament over the soaring price of onions. Referring to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comment that she doesn’t eat onions much during a debate on the soaring prices of onion in parliament on Wednesday, the former finance minister P Chidambaram said, “Finance Minister said yesterday that she doesn’t eat onions. So what does she eat? Does she eat avocado?”
Talking to reporters in the Parliament premises, he also expressed his concern over the situation in Kashmir saying, “As I stepped out & breathed the air of freedom at 8 pm last night, my first thought & prayers were for the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir Valley who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019.” He said he intended to visit Jammu and Kashmir if the government allows.
“I am particularly concerned about the political leaders who have been detained without charges. Freedom is indivisible, if we must preserve our freedom, we must fight for their freedom,” he added.
He got emotional and seemed terribly upset while talking about crimes against women and said, “I am shocked and ashamed. Where is the fear of law? What are the police doing? There is a complete breakdown of law and order in many parts of India.”
Then he referred to the industrialist Rahul Bajaj’s speech during the Economic Times Award ceremony and said that the entire country is engulfed in fear. There is fear in media also.
You can watch P Chidambaram’s press conference here:
With PTI inputs