Congress Plenary session: Manmohan Singh questions BJP on low defence expenditure, J&K policy

WION New Delhi, India Mar 18, 2018, 07.28 AM(IST) Written By: Kartikeya Sharma

File photo of former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Manmohan Singh said that the current defence expenditure is very low and constitutes only 1.6% of the GDP which is not enough to meet the security needs of the country

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tore into the defence policy of the BJP government at the Congress Plenary Session on Sunday. Manmohan Singh said that the current defence expenditure is very low and constitutes only 1.6 per cent of the GDP which is not enough to meet the security needs of the country. "When BJP talk of fighting the war on two fronts its defence expenditure is not capable to meet the needs of the country,” said Dr Manmohan Singh.

He did not stop at the issue of defence requirement. Dr Singh also questioned the Jammu and Kashmir policy of the BJP. "Modi government has mismanaged J&K policy like never before. Atmosphere has deteriorated and government departments are working at cross purpose,” said Dr Manmohan Singh.

He also accused the government of decoupling India from the world growth story. "Modi made tall promises but did not fulfill them. The promise was of 2 crore jobs but not even 2 lakh jobs have been generated," he said. He emphasised that hasty implementation of GST destroyed many jobs and demonetisation created its own problems. He also said that real agricultural growth has stalled and accused the prime minister of not able to double farm growth rate as promised.

"Perhaps this promise too was a jumla type of statement. You require 12 per cent growth rate to double farm income,” he said. Stressing on agrarian sector, the former Prime Minister said growth rate by itself cannot be everything as social justice and inclusion too should be part of policy initiative.

The former prime Minister re-emphasised the contribution of the UPA government in context of passing bills ranging from Right to Education to Right to Forest Dwellers to improve the condition of people in the ancient land of farmers. He said growth rate throughout UPA’s remained very satisfactory. He said in the end that NDA has failed to solve socio-economic problems of the country.