Chidambaram targets govt on economy, Kashmir

NEW DELHI: A day after his release from Tihar jail, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram launched a scathing attack on the government for economic mismanagement, calling the slowdown “a man-made catastrophe".

kavishakohli@gmail.com

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 5

A day after his release from Tihar jail, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram launched a scathing attack on the government for economic mismanagement, calling the slowdown “a man-made catastrophe."

“Government is clueless on the economy; it is stubborn, mulish in defending catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation and flawed GST,” said the former finance minister.

Chidambaram said the Congress was better equipped to pull the economy out of slowdown, but “we have to wait for better times”.

“Economy can be brought out of slowdown, but this government incapable of doing that,” he added.

Chidambaram said there was “fear everywhere, the media is also gripped with fear” alluding to industrialist Rahul Bajaj's remarks. 

“Even after seven months of this fiscal, BJP govenment believes the problems faced by economy are cyclical. Government is wrong,” said Chidambaram addressing media persons at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi.  

To fix the economy, Chidambaram said the place to start is a correct diagnosis.

Chidambaram said nothing summed up the state of economy better than the falling GDP numbers.

“The Prime Minister has been unusually silent on the economy. He has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster. The net result, as The Economist put it, is that the government has turned out to be an ‘incompetent manager’ of the economy,” he said.

Chidambaram  said the Congress will oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament next week and spoke for the freedom of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In his first presser upon release from jail, he said, “As I stepped out and breathed the air of freedom at 8 pm last night, my first thought and prayers were for the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir valley who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019. I am particularly concerned about the political leaders who have been detained without charges. Freedom is indivisible: if we must preserve our freedom, we must fight for their freedom.”

Chidambaram did not comment on his case saying he had always refrained from speaking on sub judice matters.

“I am grateful for the clear and comprehensive order yesterday of the Supreme Court. The order will clear the many layers of dust that have unfortunately settled on our understanding of criminal law and the manner in which criminal law has been administered by our Courts.“

Chidambaram also said he wanted to visit J-K should he be allowed.

Exuding confidence and strength Chidambaram said sleeping on a wooden board without a pillow in Tihar had made his neck, spine and head stronger.

“I was always strong on spirit. I am now strong in body,” he said.

The Congress veteran said his record as minister and his conscience are absolutely clear.

“Officers who have worked with me, business persons who have interacted with me and journalists who have observed me know that very well. My family trusts in God. We have total confidence that the Courts will, ultimately, render justice,” he added.--with PTI

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