Mumbai: Once the principal partner of BJP, the Shiv Sena blamed the Prime Minister Office for the on-going poor economic condition in the country. The Sena on Tuesday said that the centralisation of power in the PMO was one of the main reasons for the “poor” economic health of the country.
In an editorial, the Sena mouthpiece alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the finance minister and RBI governor under his control, adding that the present BJP-led dispensation is not ready to listen to economists as it considers the economy as a “share market gamble.”
The editorial supported concerns raised by the former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, who recently said India is in the midst of a “growth recession” with signs of deep malaise in the economy that is being run through extreme centralisation of power in the PMO and powerless ministers. India’s economic growth slowed to a six-year low of 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter. With inflation rising, fears of stagflation — a fall in aggregate demand accompanied by rising inflation — have resurfaced.
While criticising the Modi government, the Sena mouthpiece said that former Prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi cannot be held responsible for the country’s present economic situation. Centralisation of power in PMO and powerless ministers – this situation is not good for the economy, it said.
Raising the concern over the deteriorating economic condition, the Marathi daily said, “The present government is not ready to listen to economists as it considers the economy like a share bazaar satta. “
It questioned the contribution of the Nirmala Sitharaman as finance minister and took a strong exception over her remarks in the Parliament, “I don’t eat onion, you also do the same—.“ The government wants the finance minister, RBI governor, finance secretary and Niti Ayog chairman under its control, it claimed, adding that this is the main reason for the country’s “poor” economic health. The economy is “paralysed “and former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s “diagnosis” is absolutely correct. “The government is not ready to accept the economic slowdown. When the onion prices touch Rs 200 per kg, the finance minister says ‘I don’t eat garlic, onion, so don’t ask me’,” it quipped.
The Sena said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “not trying” to improve the situation. “When he was the chief minister of Gujarat, he had expressed concern over the rising onion prices,” it noted. The Sena claimed that when Modi was the CM of Gujarat, he had said onion is an essential commodity and it has become so costly that it will have to be “kept in lockers”. “The situation has changed and Modi is now the prime minister and the economy is in a ‘crisis,’ the Sena mouthpiece further said.