New Delhi: BJP on Friday alleged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is "directly and openly" trying to put all the blame for the economic slowdown on former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and charged that he was equally responsible for the state of affairs.
"The Prime Minister was a full partner and complicit in all that P Chidambaram (FM in UPA-I government) and Pranab Mukherjee did. And therefore, it is not open to the Prime Minister today to distance himself from those decision and put the blame on them," BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha told a press conference here today.
In an interview to a newspaper, Singh, who now holds the Finance portfolio after Mukherjee quit to contest the presidential election, has said he will work towards making India a more business-friendly place, cut-down infructous procedures and cut down fiscal deficit.
"What is most laughable about the interview is that the Prime Minister is distancing himself from Pranab Mukherjee. He says there will be clarity in all tax matters. Who brought about the confusion in tax matters? A Finance Minister meets his Prime Minister four to five times during the budget preparation. The PM goes through every word of the FM`s budget speech," Sinha said.
Alleging that Singh himself is to be blamed for the bottlenecks in policy implementation, the former Finance Minister said the Prime Minister is "directly and openly blaming Pranab Mukherjee though he was his seniormost colleague".
"It is a statement of defeat, of frustration, of a dark future," Sinha said about Singh`s words on the economic woes facing the country, adding "he is an under-rated politician and an over-rated economist."