MUMBAI:A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a target for growth of India’s economy at $20 trillion, BJP’s ally in the NDA, Shiv Sena, on Tuesday praised former Congress Prime Ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh for laying the foundation for the country’s economic progress.
“Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is immensely popular in foreign countries, people like Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh laid the foundation of India’s economic progress and opened the country’s doors and windows to other nations. How can we forget their contribution?” an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna said.
The editorial said that Rao and Singh gave a direction to the country’s economy when it was in bad shape. “Though Manmohan Singh believed in an ideology not similar to ours, we have to accept he wanted the best for our nation.”
The editorial also praised former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi for bringing a revolution in the telecommunication sector. “Doordarshan started telecasting its programmes pan-India since 1982. It was on August 15, 1982 that Indira Gandhi’s Independence Day address to the nation was first telecast on DD in colour,” the Sena pointed out, adding “Later, it was Rajiv Gandhi who ushered in an era of computers and ensured that every village had phone and STD booths. He and his advisor Sam Pitroda are known as architects of Indian telecommunication sector.”
At a time when the first Prime Minister of India is being much criticised, the Sena sought to point out that Nehru, too, was popular abroad. “There still are people in Russia and America who sing praises of Nehru’s persona. They were popular at a time when there was no media or social media,” it said.