Sanjaya Baru: Rajiv Gandhi’s policies were responsible for 1991 economic crisis; Congress mistreated PV Narasimha Rao

By: | Updated: September 27, 2016 8:28 PM

"When Narasimha Rao died they did not allow his body to come to the party headquarters & did not allow his funeral in Delhi," said Baru.

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Former media advisor to Manmohan Singh and senior journalist Sanjaya Baru has come down heavily on Congress. Following his book launch on 1991 economic crisis, Baru has accused Congress of mistreating former PM PV Narasimha Rao. “When Narasimha Rao died, they did not allow his body to come to the party headquarters & did not allow his funeral in Delhi,” said Baru in a conversation with news agency ANI. Praising Rao’s economic and foreign policy, Baru said that the former PM’s initiatives were continued through successive governments. “What Narasimha Rao did on both economic & foreign policy front, successive governments only continued all of those initiatives,” said Baru. He also claimed that Rao’s initiative received support from Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led opposition. “Narasimha Rao brought major economic changes because the BJP under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership supported him,” said Baru. Baru, citing various political analysis, held former PM Rajiv Gandhi responsible for the 1991 economic crisis. Baru accused Rajiv Gandhi of not letting former PM Chandrashekhar to present budget, who was running a minority government with outside support of Congress. The journalist, as suggested by analysts, pointed out two factors for the crisis.

“Many analysts have said that there are two reasons for the crisis of 1991. 1st factor, the economic policies we followed after 1985 Rajiv Gandhi borrowed internationally, very heavily & fiscal deficit went up,” he said criticising Rajiv Gandhi’s step to take heavy international loans. “Second factor was that in November 1990 when VP Singh’s government fell, R Venkataraman agreed to swear in a minority government led by Chandra Shekhar on the condition that Rajiv Gandhi will allow the govt to present a budget in Parliament and to deal with the crisis. Rajiv Gandhi gave him assurance, but just one week before the budget date he took the decision to withdraw support and didn’t allow Chandra Shekhar to pass the budget,” Baru added.

Baru said that Rajiv Gandhi’s decision to withdraw support pushed the country to the brink of the economic crisis. He said that there was a problem of political management on VP Singh’s part, while Rajiv Gandhi couldn’t manage country’s economy properly. Baru released his new book “1991: how P V Narasimha Rao made history” on Monday. In his book, he says that Rao believed Rajiv Gandhi was unable to pursue reforms convincingly due to the opposition of leaders like Arjun Singh, A K Antony, and N D Tiwari. Also as per the book, Rao felt that Rajiv Gandhi’s initiatives were seen as “pro-rich”.


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