Narendra Modi attacks PM Manmohan Singh at NRI meet

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 10 2014, 00:03am hrs
BJP leader Narendra Modi today chose a global NRI meet to hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had said that "we are set for better times".

"I agree with the Prime Minister. Good days are ahead for India. I don't want to say anything more. We should wait for four to six months. But good days are coming," the BJP's prime ministerial candidate said, indicating that his party would form the next government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls.

Narendra Modi's jibe at Singh came a day after the Prime Minister sought to dispel apprehensions among the Indian diaspora on the state of the economy, saying that the country was heading towards "better times" and there was no reason to despair about its present or worry about the future.

Addressing a press conference last week, the Prime Minister had said that "we are set for better times" as the cycle of global economic growth is turning for the better. This is the first verbal attack on the Prime Minister by Modi after Singh said that "it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister."

Slamming the UPA government, Modi also said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas that the overall atmosphere of divisive politics, policy paralysis and scandals and corruption have severely hit people's perception and trust in the government and its leaders.

Meghalaya CM Sangma counters Narendra Modi's attack at NRI meet

After Narendra Modi's potshots at the Prime Minister at an NRI meet, Congress leader and Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma defended the UPA government, crediting its "visionary leadership" for building the foundation for better days ahead.

"Better days would come because strong foundation has been laid by the leadership," Sangma said in an apparent snub to Modi who in his speech before him had taken a jibe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his "better times ahead" remark.

Modi suggested that better times would come after polls when his government would take over.

The last of the four CMs to speak at the gathering of NRIs at Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, Sangma referred to the "revolutionary legislations" like RTI, which he said was the reason behind "visible transparency", and RTE, crediting the Centre for ushering in these big reforms.

"MNREGA liberated agriculture workforce from suppression and oppression and pushed up wages, ensuring them work and money," he said, praising the job guarantee scheme for driving up people's purchasing power.

Four CMs spoke at the event and Kerala CM Oommen Chandy and Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda spoke before Modi.

It was only after making an elaborate reply to Modi's charge against UPA that Sangma returned to the topic of "investment opportunities" in his north-eastern state.

He presented all north eastern states as a largely "untapped and virgin" investment destination and said investors can tap markets in Bangladesh and Myanmar with their presence there.

"The competition in others states is very stiff. You come to Meghalaya, north east and you will be pleasantly surprised," he said.

He also highlighted the natural beauty of his state and its English-speaking population which would be a "human resource asset" for investors.