Wasn’t the PM who was afraid to speak to press: Manmohan Singh’s retort to Narendra Modi
“I was not the Prime Minister who was afraid of talking to the press. I met the press regularly, and on every foreign trip that I undertook, I had a press conference on return,” said Singh.
Copy Edited Adam Rizvi: NEW DELHI, Dec. 18, 2018: In an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is yet to hold a press conference, his predecessor and Congress veteran Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said as Prime Minister, “he was never afraid of speaking to the press”.
Speaking at the launch of his book “Changing India”, the former Prime Minister also asserted that India was destined to become a major economic global power.
“I was not the Prime Minister who was afraid of talking to the press. I met the press regularly, and on every foreign trip that I undertook, I had a press conference on return.
“There are a large number of those press conferences which have been described in the book,” he said at the event.
A set of five volumes, “Changing India” details his life as an economist as well as his 10-year period at the helm of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.
Singh’s remark comes days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi ridiculed Modi for not holding a press conference ever since becoming the Prime Minister in 2014. Prior to the last general elections, BJP and Modi had launched aggressive campaigning against the Congress, mockingly referring Singh as “Maun Mohan Singh” for what they called his “silence” over crucial issues like price rise and corruption.
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Weighing in on the apparent rift between the RBI and the finance ministry, Singh said the relationship between the government and the RBI is like that of “husband-wife” and the difference of opinions must be resolved in a manner that the two institutions work in harmony.
Singh, who is also a former RBI governor, said one has to respect the autonomy and the independence of the RBI. “At the same time, I would say the relationship between government and RBI is like a husband-wife relationship. There will be hiccups, there will be a difference of opinion, but ultimately these must be harmonized in a manner that these two great institutions can work in harmony,” Singh said.