Jaitley hits back at Manmohan, asks him to be ‘non-partisan’ | india | Hindustan Times
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Jaitley hits back at Manmohan, asks him to be ‘non-partisan’

india Updated: Feb 14, 2016 00:32 IST
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Finance minister Arun Jaitley speaks with the media in New Delhi.(Reuters)

Tearing into former PM Manmohan Singh’s criticism of the Modi government, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the transition from UPA to NDA government has been from “policy-paralysis” to a global “bright-spot” while Congress’ stand on the crucial GST Bill has been motivated by “real politics”.

In a Facebook post titled What Dr. Manmohan Singh should advise his Party, Jaitley said unlike in the UPA regime when policies were framed from Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, in the NDA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the last word.

“Former Presidents and Prime Ministers rarely speak, but when they do, the nation should listen to them with rapt attention. They represent the wisdom of the nation.

They are expected to be non-partisan, render constructive advice and at times send a powerful message even to their own political party to act in broader national interest,” he said.

Referring to Singh’s interview to a periodical over Modi not reaching out to the Opposition and the government not doing enough to move up the country’s economy, he said, “I am sure if Dr Singh would dispassionately analyse the present government, he would really realize India has a government where the PM has the last word, where natural resources are allocated without corruption through transparent process... where industrialists no longer visit North Block to push files/decisions, where environmental clearances are dealt with in routine and not stalled on sadistic or corrupt considerations.”

On consultations with the Opposition, Jaitley said almost all political parties, except the Congress, support the GST. “The Congress has done a volte-face. Both the parliamentary affairs minister and I have discussed GST with every senior Congress leader,” he said, questioning if Congress’ position on “Constitutional cap” on GST rates was not “motivated by real politics?”