Mumbai, Apr 15 (ANI): Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not including any measures to boost the public sector and private sector in its election manifesto.
Addressing a press conference here, Chidambaram said the manifesto had failed to incorporate efficient steps to build up the economy at the time of global recession.
Appreciating the United Progressive Alliance government for its competency in handling the current economic downturn, Chidambaram expressed confidence that the Indian economy will post a growth of 'close to seven percent' in the 2009-10 fiscal.
It would not come as a surprise if the growth rate figure touches the seven percent mark, he added.
"The Congress-led government raised the growth rate of an average 5.8 percent during the NDA regime to an average of 8.5 percent. In fact, in the first four years of the UPA rule, the average growth rate was above 9 percent," Chidambaram said.
Attacking BJP's primeministerial candidate L K Advani on the 1999 Kandahar plane hijack episode, Chidambaram claimed that if he would have been the Home Minister at that time, he would never have permitted release of terrorists as done by the NDA government.
"If I was the Home Minister I would not accept...I will not say after four years I do not know whether the External Affairs Minister accompanied the terrorists, " he said.
"I would have told the Prime Minister not to allow the External Affairs Minister to accompany the terrorists," added Chidambaram.
Advani had recently said that he was unaware that the then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh accompanied the three terrorists released in exchange for passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in 1999. (ANI)