Need a realist not an economist PM: Rajnath Singh

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New Delhi, July 19: Attacking Prime Minister Mamohan Singh for the price rise and the downturn in economy, BJP President Rajnath Singh on Friday said the country needs a "realist" and not an economist Prime Minister.

Calling for a credible and tested government that should be free of corruption, the BJP chief said only a leadership which has vision and also firm conviction can make India vibrant and an economic power in the world. "I did not find that conviction and confidence in the Prime Minister's speech today," he said.

Rajnath Singh with Sushma Swaraj

He held the Congress-led UPA government responsible for the "fall" in India's credibility on all fronts at the international level.

"If you really want to make this country a vibrant India, an economic power, if we wish to enhance its stature and credibility at international level, there should be such a leadership which has a vision and also firm conviction. Only that person can make a vibrant India and an economic power in the world.

"The Prime Minister is himself a very big economist. I think that for running a country like India, you don't just need an economist, but a realist. Being just an economist is not enough. Atal Behari Vajpayee was not an economist, but was a realist. He understood the ground realities well," Rajnath Singh said while addressing a programme organised by Assocham.

Accusing the Prime Minister of failing to rein in prices and the slowdown in country's economy, the BJP chief said Singh lacks the confidence and conviction that is required to meet these challenges.

"I just heard a bit of the Prime Minister's speech today. I was seeing that the confidence, the conviction that one should have that we will improve the country's economy, I did not find that conviction and confidence in the Prime Minister's speech. Not just today, but ever since he became the Prime Minister, I have been seeing like this.

"The confidence when this government was formed was to such an extent that when prices started rising, the Prime Minister first said we will control them within 100 days, then he said within six months and then he stopped talking at all. Left everything on God," he said.

PTI

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