SURAT: Taking potshots at Narendra Modi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that he does not speak of his humble background because he does not want people to take pity on him on the basis of his past.
"I don't want the country to take a pity on the basis of my humble background. I do not think I would like to enter in any competition with Prime Minister ModiJi on this particular matter," he said.
He also launched an attack on the Prime Minister over the government schemes recalling the hardships that people faced due to demonetisation.
"I invoke memories of more than 100 people who lost their lives while standing in queues as a result of demonetisation. I say with immense pain and a sense of deep responsibility that the November 8 was a black day for our economy and democracy," he said.
He also said that it was too early to conclude that the economic slowdown has reversed as the 6.3 per cent growth rate in the July-September quarter did not take into account the small and medium sector which suffered huge losses in the aftermath of demonetisation and hasty implementation of GST.
"It is too early to conclude that this represents a reversal of the declining trend observed in the previous five quarters. Some economists believe that the CSO which released the figures has not adequately captured the impact of demonetisation and GST on the informal sector that accounts for about 30 per cent of the economy," Singh said.
The former prime minister said that while Modi claimed to understand Gujarat and the poor "more than anybody else", how was it that "he never understood the pain his decisions unleashed".
He hailed the people of Surat city, renowned world over for the diamond and the textile industries, and said it was one of the worst sufferers of note ban and GST.
"It is no wonder that Surat voiced the biggest protests in India against this injustice by the NDA government. You after all come from the land of two great souls -- Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. When the Mahatma decided to protest against the unjust British tax on salt, he did it from your backyard in Dandi. Standing up for injustice is in your blood and you raised your voice against the shoddy implementation of GST," he said.