The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday lashed out at Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying India could not achieve desired growth when he was heading the government as “some used him as a puppet to promote corruption and nepotism”, Hindustan Times reported. “What kind of injustice it did to the Indian economy, we all know,” said party spokesman Sambit Patra.

The statement came a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sidestepped a question about Singh’s criticism of the state of the economy.

Data released on August 30 showed that India’s economic growth rate had slipped to 5% in the April-June quarter, the lowest in over six years. According to the commerce ministry, growth in eight core sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity – dropped to 2.1% in July, compared to 7.3% growth in the same period last year.

Manmohan Singh had blamed “all-round mismanagement” by the Narendra Modi government for the economic slowdown. He also urged the government to “put aside vendetta politics” and consult with “all sane voices and thinking minds” to save the economy.

Patra said the atmosphere at present was about “Modi hai to mumkin hai [Modi makes it possible]” as the prime minister had created a strong economy with good credentials in the six years of his government. Patra claimed the government’s economic policies had helped the country become one of the top economies in the world.

“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,” NDTV quoted Patra as saying.

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