Taking a dig at former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that the economy was running on “just one engine of public spending”, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today thanked him for acknowledging that India was propelled by a single, high-powered engine under Narendra Modi. In a broadside against Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s role in the Manmohan Singh government, he said two engines pulled in different directions in the 10 years of UPA rule and the country came to a standstill. “That is the difference between UPA and NDA. Dr Manmohan Singh acknowledged this single high-powered engine of Modi which has a single purpose of Making of Developed India. I thank him,” Naidu told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. Commenting on the demonetisation process, Singh had said yesterday that it was responsible for the slowdown in India’s economy and cited a “collapse in private sector investment” and the reduction of the industry’s gross value-added growth. Naidu retaliated by saying that the Congress was desperately looking for an engine without any hope. The problem with the party was that they “think their family problem is the problem of India”. “… This problem was solved by people of country when they discovered Modi in 2014,” Naidu said. Later in the day, the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister said the focus of the Modi government had been on development during its last three years in power.
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“There is only one agenda — development and faster development,” he said after inaugurating an exhibition ‘Saath Hai, Viswaas Hai-Ho Raha Vikas Hai’ here. He said while the economies across the globe were slowing down, India’s GDP was growing at 7 per cent plus even after demonetisation. “But our opponents are not able to see the development. They are not able to digest the reality,” he said referring to Singh’s comment. Lashing out at Singh and former finance minister P Chidambaram, the BJP leader said, “They both are failed finance ministers” in whose tenure inflation and fiscal deficit were the “highest”. Singh had served as the finance minister under the P V Narasimha Rao-led government. “We had inherited fiscal deficit, revenue deficit, trade deficit, current account deficit and above all trust deficit,” Naidu said.
Stressing that the Modi government has got the economy back on the growth trajectory, the Union minister said, “We have the highest foreign exchange and the lowest inflation.” Naidu said the Opposition was “frustrated by the phenomenal popularity” of Modi, which he claimed was “growing by leaps and bounds” day by day. “The Opposition is rattled, desperate and depressed. They are making all sorts of unfounded allegations against the government,” he added.Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present at the inauguration of the exhibition. Organised by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), the exhibition comprises 90 panels highlighting the various flagship progammes and development initiatives of the government during the last three years. Such exhibitions are also being held in various state capitals across the country for 5-7 days.