iconimg Thursday, May 07, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 01, 2014
Finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi accusing the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate of encouraging ‘crony capitalism’ and cautioned people against the ‘danger’ of one individual running the party and the government.
Chidambaram, who presented a report of the economy during the UPA regime, also dismissed former finance minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s 18 posers on the economy as ‘puerile’.

“It is no longer BJP led by Modi. It is BJP supplanted by Modi. If party, democracy, republic, cabinet, government, everything is supplanted by one individual, then it is dangerous,” Chidambaram said at the AICC headquarters here.

Read: Economy as an issue takes front seat this election

“I-me-mine (Modi) people have enough time to reflect. There are deep flaws in his character. He cannot resist from making such provocative and derogatory remarks,” the finance minister said. He added: “Business is quite comfortable with Manmohan Singh and UPA finance ministers but there are sections of businesses which are extremely comfortable with Narendra Modi because his brand of capitalism is crony capitalism.”

Chidambaram’s remarks evoked strong response from the BJP. “Saying crony capitalism is with Narendra Modi is a white lie. It is the Congress-led UPA in general and Chidambaram in particular, who are the biggest patrons of crony capitalism in India,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, citing the 2G telecom spectrum and the coal block allocation scams as examples.

Read: Modi has 'deep flaws' in his character: Chidambaram

Earlier, Chidambaram said the economy was in a much better shape with foreign exchange reserves set to touch $300 billion, a lower current account deficit at $35 billion and low fiscal deficit at 4.6% of GDP.  “Nobody talks about a downgrade anymore, the fundamentals have strengthened. I can only see spirited growth in the economy, provided the next government adheres to the 10-point agenda outlined in my interim budget,” he said.

On Sinha’s questions about UPA’s poor economic management, Chidambaram said: “I hope he remains where he is — a distant memory for the people of India.”

Read: Chidambaram defends UPA's record in a political debate with BJP's Yashwant Sinha