Modi resorting to 'jumla' over farm income, says Manmohan Singh

Frederick Owens
March 19, 2018

Congress leader continued to slam Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the centre over its policies and governance while BJP leader also continued to hit back at the Congress party.

Addressing the 84th Congress plenary session on Sunday, Dr. Singh spoke on a range of issues - from defence and the economy to foreign policy - and received a standing ovation from the delegates. "There are issues today, which are the source of great worry to all our citizens and the Modi government has not found ways and means of tackling with this problem".

Manmohan Singh also criticised Modi government's mismanagement of issues in Jammu and Kashmir and said the atmosphere is deteriorating every day. Noting the cut in the defence budget, Dr Singh said: "The defence expenditure of our country is no more than 1.6 per cent of our GDP".

"Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and we all must recognise that and we do recognise, but we also must recognise that our country needs to recognise the special problems of Jammu and Kashmir and we must deal with those problems with all seriousness", he added. "It is like going to the zoo and watching turtles race by", Sidhu said to loud cheers from those in attendance. He also criticized the coalition government of the state and attacked Pakistan saying "it still supports to the cross-border terrorism".

However, he said both the countries must sort out all problems sitting together peacefully.

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"The ill-thought and the ill-considered legislation with regard to demonetisation and hastily put forward legislation for GST have destroyed many jobs".

On Pakistan, Singh said India must recognise it as a neighbour but expressed concern over Islamabad's support to "cross-border terrorism". When Modiji was campaigning (in 2014), he made lots of tall promises.

The former PM said that the Narendra Modi government has installed a government in J&K, where its "two wings are working against each other", referring to an unlikely alliance between PDP and BJP that is seen to have led to differing points of view from time to time. The Congress under him would take seniors and youth together as the tradition of the party was to embrace change without forgetting its past and legacy, he said.

"If you have to double farmers' incomes in six years' time, you need a growth rate of 12 per cent per annum as the minimum". "Therefore, it is one of those statements ... merely a jumla-type statement, which is not likely to be achieved".

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