New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in the last lap of Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019, on Thursday addressed a press briefing on India’s economic condition and said that the “much-advertised double engine model” of the BJP government has utterly failed.

Singh, who is one the star campaigners from the Congress for ‘Maha’ polls this year, was addressing a press conference in Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium on the topic ‘Words of Wisdom on Indian Economy’.

Reiterating the looming condition of the Indian economy, the former PM said, “The much-advertised double engine model of governance on which BJP seeks votes has utterly failed. Maharashtra has faced some of the worst effects of the economic slowdown. The manufacturing growth rate of Maharashtra has been declining for the fourth consecutive year.”

Highlighting how the economic slowdown has worsened the condition of farmers in the state, he said, “Not just the industry, but the farm sector is under stress too.”

“An obsession with low inflation is inflicting misery on farmers. The government’s apathy is impacting people’s aspirations,” he added.

“Maharashtra used to be number 1 in attracting investments. Today, it is number 1 is farmer suicides. The Centre’s import-export policies are hurting the farmers,” he added.

Former PM Manmohan Singh pointed out that when the UPA government was in power, it delivered loan waivers during agricultural distress.

Recounting on Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman’s statement on Wednesday that public sector banks had the “worst phase” under Singh and former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan, he said, “I will not like to comment on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement, but I can say one needs to diagnose the economy.”

Taking a sharp dig at the BJP in Maharashtra and at the Centre, Singh added, “The BJP government, both at Centre and in Maharashtra, are unwilling to adopt people-friendly policies.  The BJP is obsessed with trying to fix blame on opponents or plug the gaps, it is unable to find solutions.”

Commenting on the PMC Bank crisis, former PM Singh said, “It is very unfortunate what has happened in the case of this bank. I appeal to the Maharashtra CM, the PM and the Finance Minister to look into this matter and resolve the grievances of the affected 16 lakh people.”

“I expect the govt of India, RBI and the govt of Maharashtra to put their head together and provide a credible, pragmatic and effective solution to this case where 16 Lakh depositors are trying for justice,” he added.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra goes to polls on October 21 and the results are scheduled to be announced three days later, on October 24.