New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha Friday attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling him an "overrated economist" and an "underrated politician".
Reacting after the prime minister assured the nation that economic growth will be restored, Sinha, who was the finance minister during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, said the prime minister was only a "consultant" to the government.
"He is an overrated economist and underrated politician," Sinha said.
"The problem with Manmohan Singh has been that he has always acted as a consultant to the government, saying what should be done, what need not be done. You know he has been prime minister for eight years, before that he was finance minister for five years and clearly, he had all the opportunity in the world to implement what he believes in," said Sinha.
"Now, at the end of eight years, he cannot say this should be done and that should be done," he added.
Sinha also said that the prime minister should not blame his government's failures on the previous NDA government.
"The mess is domestically created and it is the government which has created the mess. This is something which has to be understood. I went through his interview and I find that he is constantly offering alibis, you know, and the worst part of it is that he says they had to undo what we did, when we were in the government," said Sinha.
"As if all the problems in India from 1947 onwards can be laid at the door of the NDA government between 1998 and 2004. Why was India partitioned? Because of the NDA government. Why is the Kashmir problem there? Because of the NDA government," he said.
In an interview published in the daily Hindustan Times, the prime minister said: "There is no realisation that a reversal to an earlier era is neither possible nor desirable; even a neighbour like China has understood the logic of an open economy and is developing the institutional framework which is required for this".
Manmohan Singh also refuted charges of corruption against his government, saying "I do not think there has been any explosion in corruption under my watch".
Sinha said this was "laughable".
"These are the most laughable of all comments made so far. He has defended his corrupt ministers to the hilt, it's only when the Supreme Court used its stick that they gave up. Why is he protecting (Home Minister P.) Chidambaram? He protected (former telecom minister A.) Raja earlier," Sinha added.