Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari on Thursday criticised the White Paper tabled by finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman in Lok Sabha, saying that it was put out by the Central government ‘in order to hide their own black (deeds)’.
Speaking to ANI, Tiwari said the White Paper criticising the UPA government was tabled soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised former PM Manmohan Singh as ‘the biggest economist’.
“This isn’t ‘white paper’ but to hide their own black (deeds) they have brought this. PM Modi himself praised the former PM Manmohan Singh as ‘the biggest economist’ but his own government is then criticising him (Manmohan Singh),” Pramod Tiwari said.
He also took a swipe at the Centre saying it should look back at certain things like the value of the rupee in 2014 in comparison to the dollar.
“What was the value of the Rupee in comparison to the Dollar in 2014? What was the percentage of inflation? What was the status of unemployment that now stands at the highest in the last 40 years? How much farmers were getting for their produce? If everything is done in these 10 years then how come the previous 10 years stand better than these?” he said, adding that the UPA government was running on ‘realities’
“But now the government is running on all ‘jumlaa’” he added.
Notably, PM Modi while bidding farewell to the retiring members in Rajya Sabha on Thursday lauded the “immense contribution” of his predecessor Manmohan Singh.
“I wish to remember Dr Manmohan Singh today, his contribution in the House, with his invaluable thoughts, both as a leader and in the opposition has been immense. For such a long time, the way he has guided this House and country, Dr Manmohan Singh will always be remembered for it,” PM Modi said during his speech in the upper house.
In his speech in Rajya Sabha, PM Modi praised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s commitment to his duties as a parliamentarian. “It doesn’t matter who he was supporting, I believe that he was supporting our democracy,” PM Modi said.
In August 2023, Manmohan Singh had arrived in Rajya Sabha on a wheelchair to cast his vote on the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
Recalling the incident, PM Modi in his speech today said, “Dr Manmohan Singh ji came to the parliament in a wheelchair.
How conscious he is of his responsibilities, not only this, I was watching, whenever committee elections were held, he came to vote, the question is not to whom he came to give strength, I believe, to give strength to democracy.”
However, hours later, the government released a white paper comparing the state of the economy during the 10 years of Singh’s UPA government and Modi’s NDA administration, and slammed the former’s “lack of leadership” that “came out in full public glare, in shameful public tearing-up of an ordinance”.
The reference was to 2013 when Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tore up a piece of paper to signal his rejection of an ordinance passed by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, overturning a rule that disqualified convicted MPs and MLAs. The Congress had eventually scrapped the ordinance.
In its white paper that holds the Congress responsible for transforming the “healthy” economy it inherited from the Vajpayee government into a “non-performing” one presented to the Modi administration – the BJP made repeated mention to “weak” leadership when the UPA was in power.
The paper does not, however, mention Manmohan Singh by name, except for defining the term ‘UPA government’ as that led by him.