Bengaluru, May 7: Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday hit out at the Narendra Modi government ahead of the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018. Addressing the media in Karnataka, Dr Singh said that the farmer issues, job crisis and economic slowdown were situations that were well avoidable. He also targeted the Modi government over rising petrol and diesel prices, saying that they were not passing on the benefit of low international prices to the consumer. Catch Live updates on campaigning for Karnataka polls here. Also Read - PM Modi Reaches Pune's Serum Institute to Review Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Development

“Our farmers are facing an acute crisis, our aspirational youth are not finding opportunities, and the economy is growing below its potential. The unfortunate truth is that each of these crises was entirely avoidable,” Dr Singh said. He added that every time the Congress sought an answer for any of the disastrous policies of the present BJP government, they always got the same response that the “intentions were virtuous”. Also Read - Govt Actively Working to Support COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturers: PM Modi After Visiting Zydus Cadila

Taking on the Modi government over “economic mismanagement”, Dr Singh said, “Today neither are banks lending nor is the private sector borrowing in order to make new investments. The growth engines of the economy are spluttering. Perhaps it is here that the mismanagement of the Modi Government is most evident.” Also Read - PM Modi Visits Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to Review COVID Vaccine Development | SII, Bharat Biotech Next on Itinerary

“The economic mismanagement of Modi Government, I say this with great care and responsibility, is slowly eroding the trust of the general public in the banking sector. Instead of taking prompt corrective action,Govt has been busy providing excuses & peddling conspiracy theories,” Dr Singh added.

Earlier this morning, while addressing the Karnataka BJP Yuva Morcha Karyakartas, PM Modi said that unemployment and joblessness were a legacy of Congress. “They did nothing to reduce unemployment,” Modi said.

However, responding to PM Modi’s charge, Dr Singh said, “Shri Modi forgets to mention that policies of UPA I & II led to lifting 140 million people above the poverty line during 2004-2014.” Calling GST and demonetisation two of the biggest blunders by the Modi government, Singh said, “It does not help that the Ministers in PM Modi ji’s cabinet and even BJP Chief Ministers regularly make comments promoting irrationality. It thus comes as no surprise when irrational policies hurting people are implemented.”

Voting is set to take place in Karnataka on May 12. The counting of votes will take place on May 15. With politics heating up in the state, it remains to be seen who wins the Battle for Karnataka.