Former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the government was "obsessed with trying to fix blame on its opponents" instead of finding solutions to the problems. He made this comment in response to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's comment blaming the former PM over their handling of the banking sector during his reign.
"I have just seen the statements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. I won't like to comment on that statement, but before one can fix the economy, one needs a correct diagnosis of its ailments and their causes. The government is obsessed with trying to fix blame on its opponent, thus it is unable to find a solution that will ensure revival of the economy," Manmohan Singh reportedly said while addressing media in Maharashtra.
"When I was in office what happened did happen. There were some weaknesses. But you can't claim that the fault lies with the UPA always. You have been in office for five years. Mainly passing buck to UPA is not enough," he added.
Referring to crisis-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, Dr Singh said what happened was "unfortunate" and urged state and central government to pull their head together and sort out the issue.
"It's unfortunate what has happened with PMC. I appeal to the Maharashtra CM, FM (Nirmala Sitharaman) and PM (Narendra Modi) to look into the PMC issue, I have got to know people are dying of shock, they should be heard immediately," Singh said.
"I understand the matter is subjudice, so won't comment more but I do expect RBI, Maharashtra govt and central govt to pull their head together and sort out the issue," he added.
On Tuesday, Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the Indian public sector banks (PSBs) had the "worst phase" under Manmohan Singh's regime. She had also blamed former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan for giving loans just based on phone calls from crony leaders.
"Dr Singh was the Prime Minister and I'm sure Dr Rajan will agree that Dr Singh would have had a 'consistent articulated vision' for India," she had said during a lecture at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
Attacking the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra, the veteran Congress leader said that business sentiments were down across the state and warned that many units were facing closure. He added that Maharashtra was badly-hit by the ongoing economic slowdown and it had seen the highest factory shutdowns in last five years.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar