BJP on Friday termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on the state of the economy as "extremely disappointing and frustrating" and accused him of "insulting" the Opposition and Lok Sabha by not waiting to listen to the leader of Opposition.
"It is the most disappointing,
frustrating statement that the prime minister has chosen to give," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters outside Parliament House.
"The country is facing a crisis of credibility. And that credibility gap will not be bridged by this statement," he said.
Sinha charged the prime minister with not extending the courtesy of listening to leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.
"The prime minister left in a manner as it we were all idle people sitting in Lok Sabha. We believe that he has insulted the opposition and the House the way in which he left the House after finishing his speech. He did not extend courtesy to the leader of the Opposition who stood up to speak," he said.
Sinha said that Swaraj probably wanted to say that there should be a structured discussion on the issue in Parliament.
"That is why the leader of Opposition got up and said that we are hurt by this attitude of the prime minister and that is why we are boycotting Parliament," he added.
Sinha said there was nothing new in Singh's speech and the government has been consistently trying to save itself by deflecting blame.
"Even today, if one sees the common element in prime minister's statement, it is that there is a global crisis and we are also affected by it," he said.
On Thursday, there was a statement by the RBI governor that the current account deficit gradually kept climbing but the steps that the government should have taken were not taken, and as a result of which the current crisis has emerged, he said, adding that the prime minister had glossed over this issue.
Sinha said that Singh's remark that growth in the first quarter could be flat was very significant.
"He said that I expect the growth in the first quarter of 2013-14 to be relatively flat. What does it mean? Is it going to be even below 4.8%, which is being mentioned by newspapers. So brace yourself, we are in for very, very difficult times on the economic front," he said.
On Singh's statement that he expected the second quarter should be better, Sinha said, "Who has seen quarter two? Lord Keynes said that in the long run we are all dead. Who is going to wait.
"And will the prime minister come and explain in the next six months if that does not materialise," he said, asking whether any prime minister or finance minister had been arraigned for making wrong predictions.
The BJP leader said that in the PM's speech, all the hope was only based on a good monsoon this year.
On the PM's remark that there is need to be patient and growth-friendly measures taken will yeild results, Sinha said what else could one do.
"We'll be patient, what else can one do... Every time the PM says only the next quarter and the next half year. This they have been saying for nine-and-a-half years," he said.
Sinha said that Singh had sought the opposition's cooperation but the way he has behaved, the opposition will not be able to cooperate even if it really wants to.
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