Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday accused Opposition parties of trying to create panic about the state of the economy, saying the current slowdown in growth was a cyclic slowdown seen during the months of “saawan bhado [the fifth and sixth months in the Hindu calendar]”.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said political parties were creating noise over the slowdown “to vent their frustration after the loss in elections”. He claimed the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was taking appropriate measures to deal with the situation. “Central government’s announcement of 32-point relief package and the merger of 10 banks will increase the lending capacity of banks whose effects will be visible in the next trimester,” Sushil Kumar Modi added.

The minister claimed Bihar was not affected by the slowdown. “There is no fall in sales of vehicles here,” he added. “The Centre is soon going to announce the third package.”

A number of Opposition leaders and parties have criticised the goverment for the fall in growth. On Sunday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed “all-round mismanagement” by the Narendra Modi government for the slowdown, and asked it to “put aside vendetta politics” and consult with “all sane voices and thinking minds” to save the economy.

The same day Communist Party of India leader D Raja accused the Centre of “de-nationalising public sector banks” in the name of a merger, PTI reported. “The Modi government is destroying, breaking the fundamentals of the economy,” he added.

His comments came a couple of days after after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four entities with robust balance sheets that can be used to boost credit and push growth. Moments after the finance minister’s announcement, data released by the government showed that India’s economic growth rate had slipped to 5% in the April-June quarter, the lowest in over six years.

In the last few months, core sectors such as automobiles and manufacturing have witnessed a progressive slowdown in growth due to weakened consumer demand and dearth of investments. Chief Economic Adviser KV Subramanian on Friday attributed the slowdown to domestic and global factors. He added that the government was taking steps to improve the situation.

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