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‘I wasn’t the PM afraid to talk to Press’: Manmohan Singh hits back at Modi

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New Delhi, Dec 18: In a 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 a Prime Minister, he was never afraid of speaking to the press.

Manmohan Singh

"People say I was a silent Prime Minister. I think these volumes (his book 'Changing India') speak for themselves. I wasn't the PM who was afraid of talking to the press. I met press regularly and on every foreign trip that I undertook. I had a press conference on return in the plane," said Manmohan Singh at the launch his five-volume book 'Changing India'.

Modi used to mockingly call his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh "Maun Mohan Singh", but to the latter's credit he did field questions from the press.

Urjit Patel's resignation 'severe blow to nation's economy': Manmohan Singh

PM Modi has not addressed a single press conference ever since he stormed to power in 2014. This distinction has often drawn criticism from political detractors, especially Congress president Rahul Gandhi who recently asked him to "try one someday, because it's fun having questions thrown at you".

On the farm loan waiver announced by the newly sworn-in Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on their first day in office, Manmohan Singh said, "We have to honour the commitment that was part of the election manifesto.

Madhya Pradesh: Hours after taking oath, CM Kamal Nath announces farm loan waiver

"I haven't studied the impact but since commitment has been made so we have to honour it. These are commitments made to people and what has been promised, has to be delivered," he said.

Singh said the country needs a "strong and independent" central bank which has to work in "close cooperation" with the central government.

"I do hope and pray that government and the RBI find a way to work in harmony," said the former Prime Minister , who had also served as the RBI governor from 1982 to 1985. He had earlier termed RBI governor Urjit Patel's resignation "very unfortunate" and a "severe blow" to the country's economy.

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