Chidambaram targets PM Modi over his silence on economy

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS): Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday trained his guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his silence on economic slowdown and termed the government an "incompetent manager of the economy". He also described the disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) as a "scandal".

Chidambaram also said that the Congress will oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill and that he supports the protests of the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the IIMC and other institutions over the proposed fee hike.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, a day after his release from Tihar Jail on bail, he, however, refused to comment on his case, only saying that the order would clear the "many layers of dust" that have settled on the understanding of criminal law and the manner in which it had been administered by the courts.

Targetting the government over the slowdown, he said: "The government is an incompetent manager of the economy."

Hitting out at Modi over his silence on the economic slowdown, the senior Congress leader said: "The Prime Minister has been unusually silent on the economy. He has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster."

He also charged the government with making mistakes, saying it believed that the problems faced by the economy were "cyclical" even after seven months into the current financial year.

"It is wrong. Let me repeat, the government is wrong and they are wrong because they are clueless," he said, adding that the government was unable to look for the obvious clues because it is "stubborn and mulish" in "defending its catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, a flawed GST, tax terrorism, regulatory overkill, protectionism, and centralised control of decision-making in the Prime Minister's Office".

According to the Congress leader, the previous UPA dispensation had lifted 14 crore people out of poverty between 2004-2014, while the NDA had pushed millions of people below the poverty line since 2016.

Stressing that every number pointed in the direction of a floundering economy, he said that the economy can be brought out of the slowdown but this government was incapable of doing it.

"We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5 per cent. Please remember (former Chief Economic Adviser) Arvind Subramanian's caution that 5 per cent under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5 per cent but less by about 1.5 per cent," Chidambaram said.

To a question over the government's plans to disinvest many Public Sector Units (PSUs) like BPCL, he said: "BPCL is a scandal. My colleague Jairam Ramesh pointed it out some months ago. By asking one PSU to buy another PSU is accounting manoeuvring. Government coffers are full and it doesn't make any difference to me, the organisation or the company or the economy. Let us see who buys BPCL, that will give a clue where the scandal lies."

Attacking Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her remarks on onions, he said: "This shows the mindset of the government."

He was referring to Sitharaman's remarks in Parliament on Wednesday where she said that she does not eat onions and garlic. Questioning the delay in procuring onions, he said: "They should have planned in advance. What's the point of importing now?"

The former Finance Minister also said that he supports students of JNU and IIMC in "their protest against the steep hike in their hostel and educational fees".

To a question over the government ending Special Protection Group (SPG) protection to the Gandhi family, Chidambaram said: "That is a cost the government has to bear. The Gandhis were extremely graceful over the decision and said 'It's fine, its your decision'."

To a question on industrialist Rahul Bajaj, who had told Union Home Minister Amit Shah if people were scared to criticise the government, he said: "There is fear everywhere. Media also gripped with fear."

On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Chidambaram said: "My first thoughts upon my release were with the Kashmiri people who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019 - the day before the Constitution's Article 370 conferring the region special status was removed.

"I intend to visit Jammu and Kashmir, if the government allows me to do so," he said.

Chidambaram was released on Wednesday evening after spending 106 days in connection with INX Media case. He was arrested on August 21 by the CBI from his residence after a 24-hour-long drama. He was also arrested by the ED in connection with the money laundering probe.



Comment on this article

  • shastri, Mlore

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    He is come out of jail,Chor party supporter not speaking anything about that,They start blame Modi.Its really nice joke.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakht, Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    @ Shastri,

    Modi had a golden chance to change the economy to 8 - 9% growth rate during 2014-19 and progress it further, marching towards his trillions dream. No, the arrogant Gujju duo wanted it their way ! At-least during the days PC was in jail to improve the Onion price so that PC could have nothing in hand to attack the duo with.

    Instead, Modi govt is giving bricks/bats and stones in PC's hands. Take the attack than cribbing that nobody is talking about matters relate dot PC. Nobody is a saint. Even if Modi had a son, he too would have done the same thing - he proved it by send the police behind his niece's purse snatchers. Shah has done the same thing by telling that there is technical problem in giving wrong figure about his son's fortune swell.

    Therefore, enjoy the price rise and the shrinking economy. And, it's a different matter if you are not ready to accept, but the previous govt was indeed way better in running the finances. Whether you like it, or not.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Economy is in a tailspin; 40% business is down; low income, high inflation, job cuts! We are in for a prolonged period of suffering!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • vishnu bhat, bangalore

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    How can we expect PM to speak? When has he ever spoken when there was a crisis? He likes to hide behind others. He has no clue what is happening and why. He is surrounded by a bunch of incompetent and 'yes' ministers and advisers. Those who show him the light are totally unwelcome.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Moshu, Mangaluru

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    He speaks everything in Mann ki baat except country's economy. Not only him even andhbhakts too turning blind senses over economy.
    Jab Modi ye andhbhakhto ko haat me katora thamayega tab inke hosh thikane aayenge

    DisAgree [3] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prakash, Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Please ask him what is Economy before targeting.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakht, Mangalore

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Mr. Prakash,

    Contingency funds from RBI were taken by Nirmala Sitaram under Modi Govt., not by PC under UPA - you are aware of this, don't you ? Why ? Because they couldn't run the nation with available funds.

    As such. who should be taught (or understood to be not knowing) economy ? PC, or Modi/Nirmala ???

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Mr. Chidambaram, please tell us something that we don't know. The whole world knows that Mr. Modi is all sizzle and no steak.

    A total failure as the driver of the economy. He has played ducks and drakes with the economy.

    Nirmala Sitharaman is made a scapegoat for his faulty policies. Let us admit it.

    It is the people's fault for electing a person of the calibre of Modi.

    How can you entrust a country the size of India in the hands of a person whose qualification is not even known.

    Give a toy to a child and see what it does. It bangs the toy to the floor, throws it around and within no time destroys it. The same thing has happened to India.

    A burgeoning economy was given on a platter to Modi, who within no time has brought it down to where we currently are. When you elect incompetent people, this is bound to happen.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sandesh, Dubai / Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 8 2019

    Well said

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Jailbird, fresh from Tihar

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fz, Mlore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Government is keeping some community happy with anti Muslim policies. people’s mind are full of negativity so they are selling things which keep them happy so they don’t question about GDP. Even majority of us don’t understand /consequences of economic slowdown. Lying and hating is not a sustainable strategy for long term success. Arrogant don’t understand this!

    DisAgree [7] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prakash, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    China is 50 years ahead of India and Indian economy only Media hype. Indian Government protecting stock market paying tax payers money

    DisAgree [5] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Arun, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Mr.Modi can give Pakoda sales cont, He cannot open the moth about the economy till some adviser feed him.he can give fake speech that's it.
    Mowna Modi !!!!!!!!

    DisAgree [9] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • ca girishkk, m'lore/dxb

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    The story is -

    REAL Hindus vs FEKU Hindus
    Educated vs Un-educated.,
    Economists vs Pakodanomists..,
    Intelligents vs illiterates..,
    etc., etc.,

    let me have my chai..,


    DisAgree [10] Agree [47] Reply Report Abuse

  • JK, Udupi

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Look who is talking on economy. Corrupt politicians have no right to talk on Country's economy or growth.

    DisAgree [74] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakht, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Who is not corrupt ? Didn't Modi (Govt) say documents related to Rafale went missing ? Because they knew the consequences if they were presented to the court.

    If PC erred by misusing his position as FM to protect his son's business, punish him. But what he says is not wrong because he was the FM and the economy worked flawlessly during his tenure. Modi govt's trial & error was from 2014 to 2019. They can't be doing the same mistake term after term at us taxpayers' cost.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [71] Reply Report Abuse

  • JK, Udupi

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    I don't want to comment on Pappu's version of the story.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis, Shirva/UK

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Who cares about economy in BJP, they are worried about religion and caste.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakht, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Bhakhts did the right thing by electing Modi govt for second term. So that, he enjoys the karma of the hard work he did during his first term.

    Jai Ho....

    DisAgree [8] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse

  • Narendra Kumar, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Does any of Modi's team of cabinet ministers have any idea about what they are talking in media or in parliament house? As justice Katju once said some time ago all are gober mentality bhakts. There is nothing called "Quality or Merit". Gober mind will give gober results and ideas as our present P.M said "Gutter ke gas se Chai Banana! What more you Indian Citizens expect from these so called fascist

    DisAgree [6] Agree [59] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Rodrigues, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Sathar Sal me kya kiya?
    Desh ko Banaya our Bachaya

    Sath sal me kya kiya
    Desh our Desh ke companiyoko bech dalneka program ready kardiya.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [60] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Who understands Economy ...

    DisAgree [12] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Clifford, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    This government has totally destroyed Indian economy and they have no clue as to how to get it back on line. People and media are terrified to criticise them for the fear of arrest or a ED or CBI raids. Life is like living in Nazi Germany. If voters don’t get rid if there will be serious problems for people.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Ruling the country and to bring prosperity is not as easy as the tongue twisting.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    He was a lot better FM than the current one talking nonsense and making worst decisions.

    DisAgree [18] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lan......, Belman / Washington, DC.

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Ronald D, Udupi,

    Are you saying P Chidambaram is an honest Politician???...
    Just answer Yes or No please....
    If you say Yes...and he Did no Corruption in his Political Career....I will support CONgress...

    Don't answer Question by Counter Question....Saying he is less Corrupt than Eshwarappa and Yeddy....He might very well be...

    In politics either you are Honest or Corrupt...that's it...Same way one is pregnant or not pregnant ...there is nothing called Little Corrupt or Little Pregnant...


    DisAgree [34] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil Pinto, Dubai/ Udupi

    Thu, Dec 5 2019


    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakht, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 5 2019


    If PC is corrupt, so is Ajith Pawar.
    Why were cases against him withdrawn upon joining BJP ?

    If PC is corrupt, so is SMK.
    CCD owner's clearly shows SMK's involvement in money laundering. Why is the man out ?

    If PC is corrupt for covering his son, so is Amith Shah for protecting his son's overnight wealth accumulation.

    Pregnant or not- pregnant ? Please apply your theory here !

    DisAgree [8] Agree [57] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    According to you he has committed fraud and corruption. Ok. But why bail has given for him?? He says when he was in jail for 106 days, they have failed frame any case against him what's the reason? Don't under estimate him and MMS . Present Government doesn't not know how to frame case .

    DisAgree [8] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    Lan...Belman, out of past and present politicians many you can count as non corrupt...???????

    DisAgree [2] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abu Mohammed, KSA / Mangaluru

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    No counter questions please... can you answer who are not corrupt in present BJP Govt both central and State?? tak tak....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh, Udupi

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Don't question the fascist government.......!!!Its not democratic....

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Report Abuse

  • T.Dsilva, Udupi

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Hello , Please tell me your feku is degree holder or 8th pass. If he has a degree why his degree certificate is kept in secret. ?

    DisAgree [4] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aftab Pasha, Tarikere/ Saudi Arabia

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Please me about Amit Shah's son.
    Why modi cried about pink revolution and why India is top exporter of beef.
    Why no action has been taken against the tape victims (politicians)
    How did they buy MLA' s in karnataka.
    The list will go on n on.....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dimple, Karkala

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    Hello Mr. Langoti Subraya,

    What are you barking yaar? you are like the same cheater gang of Bjp and feku team. Takk..takk..takkk...tukk..tukk..tukk... pusss..................

    DisAgree [4] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lan......, Belman / Washington, DC.

    Fri, Dec 6 2019

    My guess this man works in butcher shop in Dubai....
    I welcome these motivates me more to write about CONgrss...


    DisAgree Agree Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    For sure, Modi and his term members will push India 25 years back by the time they complete 2nd term

    DisAgree [15] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

  • Moshu, Mangaluru

    Thu, Dec 5 2019

    He is fully charged and coming days Modi govt to face hardship.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Chidambaram targets PM Modi over his silence on economy


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