Ahmedabad (Gujarat). Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that development cannot be achieved with slogans like ‘Ache Din Aane Wale Hai’.
Addressing the media in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, Chidambaram said, “Development is not some mantra or slogan. If slogans were going to develop India, India would have developed long ago. Just by saying Ache Din Aane Wale Hai, Ache Din (good days) is not going to come.”
“Development is producing and consuming more goods and more services,” he stated.
He further ridiculed the ruling dispensation over demonetisation and the ‘flawed’ Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“During former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s rule, the UPA delivered an average growth rate of 8.5 percent. That five years period is the golden period in India’s economy. Never before did India achieve the growth rate of 8.5 percent. When the new government came, in a friendly manner, I challenged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to improve (from 8.5 per cent). Little did I know then that they will bring demonetisation and the flawed GST,” he added.
Claiming that the growth rate declined because of demonetisation, Chidambaram said, “We were told that demonetisation is a weapon to fight corruption, black money and fake currency. Has any of these objectives been achieved?”
The Congress leader further slammed the Centre’s Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project and said development cannot be measured by introducing trains but by infrastructure and gender justice.
“Vikas (development) cannot be measured by simply saying that I am going to get a bullet train for Rs 1 lakh crore. Development does not mean headline grabbing stories, it means better healthcare, cleaner air, toilets, transportation, gender justice.”
The former finance minister lamented, “The only regret in my life will be that I was never the Finance Minister of a Government with absolute majority”.