The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Monday faced embarrassment on account of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband as he wrote a scathing opinion piece on the state of economy, all the more so because he suggested BJP to follow the PV Narsimha Rao-Manmohan Singh’s style of economic model.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband Parakala Prabhakar in an article in the news daily, The Hindu has suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party has not been able to propose any economic framework of its own.
If that “wasn’t an embarrassment enough” for a government that has seen enough indicators of economic slowdown, including a lowered GDP projection, Prabhakar advised the Narendra Modi government to “embrace” his predecessors — former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao’s economic model.
“The rejection of Nehruvian ‘socialistic pattern of society” and “The party’s economic ideology and its articulation were limited to mainly critiquing the Nehruvian model,” said the 60 year-old -former communications adviser to the government of Andhra Pradesh while criticizing the BJP for rejecting the Nehruvian economic model followed by Congress for a long time.
Prabhakar, an economist himself, comes from a political family and both his parents were legislators in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
With a full-frontal attack on the Modi government, Prabhakar alleged: “In economic policy, the party mainly adopted “Neti Neti (Not this, Not this’), without articulating what was its own Niti (policy)’.”
The Congress, also jumped the bandwagon and lost no time in attacking the government.
Pawan Khera of the Congress told news agency IANS: “That’s sane advice coming from Mr Parakala Prabhakar. Anti-Nehru cannot be the raison de etre of the BJP. They do not have their own heroes, nor their own economic vision. If they can borrow heroes from Congress heroes — who found the RSS repugnant — why not borrow its economic policies too?”
Congress’s Bengal unit chief Somen Mitra took to Twitter and said, “They may have mocked him for years without having an iota of knowledge how an economy as big as that of India runs, but at the end of the day, Dr Manmohan Singh and his reform model continues to be the ultimate benchmark of development for the Indian economy.”
Prabhakar also suggested that BJP could appropriate Narasimha Rao on the economic side, just the way it has taken Congress leader Sardar Patel into its fold. He also insinuated, ‘a muscular political, nationalist, security platform’ was created to compensate the deficiency on economic front and a re-election bid.
The FM’s husband further wrote in his article, “Sardar Patel, the Congressman the Gandhi dynasty marginalised, could become an icon in the BJP’s political project. Similarly Rao, another Congressman detested and humiliated by the dynasty, could become a robust underpinning for its economic architecture. “
There are no reactions coming from BJP as it has maintained a stoic silence over the issue. When contacted, a senior party functionary directed to the media department, while a few BJP spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.
As the Indian economy continues to remain “unstable”, this open critique of the economic policies by Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband, just a week before Haryana and Maharashtra polls has left the BJP searching for an answer.
(With inputs from IANS)