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Regional parties slam PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's observation on Wednesday, blaming regional parties for the backwardness of certain states drew angry responses from several of the regional parties, as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party.

delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2009 01:43 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's observation on Wednesday, blaming regional parties for the backwardness of certain states drew angry responses from several of the regional parties, as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The statement is against the spirit of federalism in this country,” said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan reminded the PM that if his Congress party was able to muster numbers to form a majority and lead the government for the past five years, it was because of the support of regional parties.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the Congress should not blame regional parties when it was itself responsible for their rise. “It failed to meet the aspirations of the people during the years when it was in power almost everywhere,” he said.

The Samajwadi Party said the PM should explain why India remained economically backward if the Congress knew how to fix all fiscal ills.

“At least six times the Congress had a chance to come to power without the support of regional parties. Still why is the country lacking in development,” Kamal Akhter, a Rajya Sabha MP said.