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Instead of mocking Manmohan Singh, heed his advice on economy, ally Shiv Sena tells BJP

In a Saamana editorial, Shiv Sena says irrespective of what bhakts say, truth is loud and clear and Manmohan Singh has spoken about this truth in gentle words.

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Mumbai: The BJP’s Maharashtra ally Shiv Sena has slammed the Modi government over its handling of the economy and has called on the administration to pay heed to former prime minister Manmohan Singh rather than making fun of him.

In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the party said the government’s decisions such as demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the back of each other has dented the economy “as rightly pointed out by Singh”.

“On the economy, irrespective of what the bhakts may say, the truth is loud and clear and the usually silent Dr Manmohan Singh has spoken about this truth in gentle words,” the editorial reads. “For the last few years, the economy has only been seen in relation to party funds, horse-trading and winning elections, and the country’s administration is suffering as a result.”

The former PM had Sunday released a video statement, in which he said the state of the economy was “deeply worrying” and called on the Modi government “to put aside vendetta politics and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis”.

The Saamana editorial dwelt on this aspect of the statement.

“Manmohan Singh has called for not politicising the economy and taking the advice of experts to stabilise the country,” it said. “The country will benefit if his words are taken seriously.”

The editorial, however, has praised the Modi government for scrapping Article 370 in J&K. “Modi has decided to teach Pakistan a lesson and we have no doubt that he will walk the talk on it, but the question of country’s economy and people’s livelihoods is just as grave,” the Sena said.

Also read: Rupee set for its worst monthly loss in 6 years and there’s more pain to come

‘Manmohan had foreseen today’s situation’

The Saamana editorial also pointed out that Singh had warned about today’s situation four years ago, but was made fun of by the political administrators then. It said even Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocked Singh, saying he wears a raincoat under the shower.

“In short, the new political administrators painted Singh as someone who understands nothing about the economy,” the editorial said. “But whether Manmohan Singh wears a raincoat under the shower or uses an umbrella while jumping into ponds, we do not hesitate in accepting that he understands the country’s economy. The country also believes that.

“Manmohan Singh has been associated with the country’s economy for 35 years and has steered it in bad times. So if he finds a fault in today’s economic administration he has the right to speak out,” the party said, adding it is shocking to hear Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman still compare India’s economic development with that of China’s and America’s.

Political message behind the Shiv Sena’s stand

The Shiv Sena’s stand on the economy is yet another example of the party attempting to emphasise its identity as being separate from that of the BJP-led government despite being a part of it.

The Shiv Sena has been showing that it will not toe the line on everything that the BJP says or does. It consistently and bitterly criticised the Narendra Modi-led government in its first term over its policies despite being a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

There was a clear power tussle between the two parties but the Sena would defend its criticism of its own government saying it is first accountable to people, then the government, and can take on the latter in the interest of the former.

The parties buried the hatchet ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, deciding to contest the poll and the upcoming assembly election as an alliance. The relations between them have improved since then.

Praising the government on its action in Kashmir while criticising it on its economic policies on the same page is a way of showing that the party has not changed its stance despite its reconciliation with the BJP, and it will continue to play the role of a watchdog within the government.

Also read: Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana slams PM Modi for lacking political will on Ram temple


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  1. One can survive listening even to Manmohan Singh. But one cannot survive if they listen to the Shiv Sena, which keeps turning somersaults on its stand on any issue.

  2. Some friends can be like a child suffering from Attention Deficit Syndrome, they will sit in the lap and keeping on pinching or poking just to get the attention.
    Dr. singh did open up the economy well, but obviously could not control the outcome. It is one thing to be a domain expert and another to be an effective manager.( Remember, some of the formally illiterate leader have been outstanding administrators)
    The cream set aside by the then rulers in the wake of globalisation for enjoying over years and passing it onto the future generation was swept away in one stroke by Demo. When someone talks about vendetta all it means is to allow the creamers to enjoy the loot freely.
    An ex-FM( who is about go to jail) is on record about the growth slow down in 2012-13 to 5% in an ET interview, that was when Dr. Singh was the PM, wonder if that is the kind of expert he is suggesting to stabilise the country.

  3. ”Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocked Singh, saying he wears a raincoat under the shower.” It is one thousand percent correct observation. Mr. Singh was desperate to keep his chair and he looked at the other way when the country was looted by his party colleagues. He is no less guilty of corruption. He sacrificed the interest of the country for his personal gain.

  4. Let’s not forget that it was Dr Singh, who in Narsimharao cabinet steered the country to a new economic path which virtually all the govt, including the BJP, followed for it was pure economics for the country away from politics. Dr Singh remains an economist par excellence the country should be proud of. He could never become a politician and his being in Congress is quite incidental. But that is different story altogether.
    It would only be wise if his professional views are respected even if the govt goes the other way. Fact remains that even the govt accepts everything is not well with the economy and the Finance Minister has taken some good initiatives to combat the situation.
    Shiv Sena remains Shiv Sena. It does not become BJP being part of NDA. It’s root are different and grounded. It has not come out of anywhere. It made its own way in its own manner and it has its own vibrant constituency to keep satisfied. It struggled a lot for the place where it is today. It is welcome if it sticks to its ethos and ideology and sees the issues with it’s own angle.
    The govt would do well to share the concerns – sometimes away from politics!

  5. The BJP Govt has the dirty habit of rubbishing an initiative and then sneakily adopting it when there is no other go. This happened with MNREGA and BJP didn’t have the grace to acknowledge the role of MMS who first conceived the program. On the economy, they will play the same sneaky game.

  6. Dr Singh has forgotten more economics than most people can hope to learn in a lifetime. During the G 20 meetings in the aftermath of 2008, his counsel was sought by several leaders, including President Obama.

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