New Delhi: Extending his wishes to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who turned 86 on Wednesday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray termed the former as a “leader who pioneered our country to a path of economic reforms and liberalisation”.

Thackeray, while showering praises on the erstwhile PM, made a veiled attack on the Narendra Modi government, saying that today the “economy is in the hands of economically unsound leadership and thus heading to a state of anarchy”.

“In such times, the people of India including me, definitely miss your wisdom and presence,” he added.

Thackeray said that the people who benefitted from the economic reforms brought by Singh in 1991 “chose not to acknowledge it”.

MNS, who supported the September 10 ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the Congress-led opposition against fuel price hike, had said that the current BJP dispensation at the Centre is “worse” than the erstwhile UPA government.

Birthday wishes to the erstwhile PM were extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and others.

“Greetings to our former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji on his birthday. I pray for Dr. Singh’s long life and good health,” tweeted PM Modi.

Rahul Gandhi appreciated his selfless service to the cause of nation building. “Manmohan Singh ji’s birthday is an opportunity for us to appreciate and remember his many years of selfless service and dedication to the cause of nation building. I wish him a very happy birthday and good health and happiness always,” Gandhi said on Twitter.