Modi makes first direct attack on UPA's economic policies

16 June 2014

Just ahead of the presentation of the union Budget this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday warned of "tough decisions" over the next couple of years to improve the country's financial health, even if these hurt some sections of society.

His words would be music to the ears of corporate India, which has long been clamouring for economic liberalisation, which the previous UPA government could not deliver despite its promises.

Speaking in Panaji, Modi criticised the way the UPA government had handled the economy, saying it had left the present government with nothing but unpaid debts.

"Taking tough decisions and strong measures in the coming one or two years are needed to bring financial discipline which will restore and boost the country's self-confidence," Modi said while addressing BJP workers.

By Indian political standards, Modi has been remarkably restrained in his criticism of the previous government; this is perhaps the first time since he took over that he has made sharp comments on the Manmohan Singh government but again avoided getting personal.

"I have taken over in circumstances when there is nothing left behind by the previous government. They left everything empty. The country's financial health has hit the bottom," he said.

"I am well aware that my steps may dent the immense love that the country has given to me. But when my countrymen would realise that these steps would result in getting the financial health back, then I will regain that love," Modi said.

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