Assembly elections

Economy will have to grow at 10.6% in fifth year to equal UPA’s 10-year average, says Manmohan Singh

The former prime minister said the BJP had not done enough to tackle allegations of corruption levelled against party leaders.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday took a jibe at the country’s economic growth under the Bharatiya Janata Party government. Addressing reporters in poll-bound Gujarat’s Rajkot district, Singh said, “To equal the United Progressive Alliance’s 10-year average, the economy will have to grow at 10.6% in the fifth year.”

He added, “I would be happy if it were to happen, but I frankly do not think it will happen.” The Congress leader criticised the BJP for not doing enough to tackle allegations of corruption levelled against the party leaders. “Whoever faced corruption allegations during UPA was dealt with strictly, but the same cannot be said about the BJP. They have not acted on corruption in their rule,” he said.

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Singh also accused the Centre of taking steps that were not in the best interest of the country, adding that the national security has been hurt by the inconsistent foreign policies of the government.

In November, Modi had alleged that he had asked Singh, who was at that time the prime minister, several times to raise the height of the Narmada dam, but the UPA government gave him no assurance. Singh had earlier denied these claims.

On Thursday, Singh reiterated his stand, saying, “Modi says he took up Narmada issue with me, but I don’t remember him talking to me about this issue... Though whenever he wanted to meet me, I never refused. I was always ready as being the prime minister it was my responsibility to meet all chief ministers.”

The polling to 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat will be held on December 9 and December 14.

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