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Manmohan attacks Modi over note ban and GST, says PM betrayed trust of Gujaratis

Gujarat assembly elections 2017: Narendra Modi has faced criticism for demonetisation and rollout of GST that some blame for a sharp drop in the country’s economic growth.

assembly elections Updated: Dec 07, 2017 16:36 IST
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Former prime minister Manmohan Singh at the press conference in Rajkot on Thursday.(ANI Twitter)

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday continued the attack on his successor Narendra Modi over last year’s note ban, saying he had “betrayed” the trust of Gujaratis.

“The people of Rajkot and Gujarat trusted the prime minister and believed in the policy of demonetisation in the hope that their sacrifice would benefit India. Their faith and hopes have been shattered. Modiji has betrayed the trust that Gujaratis had reposed in him,” Singh said at a press conference in Gujarat’s Rajkot.

Four days ago, Singh, addressing a gathering of members of Surat’s local business community, launched a scathing attack on Modi, saying he had failed to understand the “pains” his note ban and Goods and Services Tax (GST) decisions were going to unleash on the people of his own home state.

Singh has been campaigning for the Congress in Gujarat, Modi’s home state, which votes for a new assembly on December 9 and 14. Modi has faced criticism for pulling out 86% of the country’s cash last year and the teething problems over the rollout of the GST that some blame for a sharp drop in the country’s economic growth.

“Ninety-nine percent of the demonetised currency came back to the banks. It is clear that a lot of black money got converted to white and corruption continues to flourish. One immediate impact of demonetisation has been on job sector. Therefore, demonetisation was an uninformed attack and a disastrous decision for our economy, said Singh.

He continued, “I invoke memories of more than 100 people who lost their lives while standing in queues as a result of demonetisation. I say with immense pain and a sense of deep responsibility that November 8 was a black day for our economy and democracy.”

Singh further said that people should demand the release of documents related to demonetisation. “We must demand the government release all the documents related to demonetisation in public domain for scrutiny.”

He also criticised the lowering GDP, saying: “To equal the UPA’s 10-year average, the economy will have to grow at 10.6% in the fifth year, I would be happy if it were to happen but I frankly do not think it will.”

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 16:31 IST