Free Press Journal

BJP praises Narasimha Rao for introducing economic reforms


New Delhi: Former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao today received praise from BJP which lauded him for the economic reforms he had kick-started in 1991 and suggested that the job of reforms would have been more difficult for him than it was for Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the recent history has not been kind to Rao, who is largely credited with ushering in the era of privatisation and limiting government control of the economy, and the “good turning point” in the economy came when he became PM after “wasted” 70s and 80s.

“For Vajpayee as a BJP prime minister to move ahead with reforms was relatively easier because it was a natural part of his party’s ideological thinking but for a man (Rao) who belonged to a party (Congress) which did believe in regulation to break the trend…,” he said.

“When objective history is written, the 70s and 80s would be probably rated as the wasted opportunity and a good turning point came when Rao was the PM,” the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha said at the launch of a book, ModiNomics, which is about the economic policies Narendra Modi pursued in Gujarat.

The compliments for Rao from BJP came a day after former Union Minister K Natwar Singh said Rao as a PM felt “insulted” by Sonia Gandhi as she “felt” that the trial of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers was not proceeding fast enough.

“How often do I see her? It is a question of my self respect. Her attitude is affecting my health. How many times do I have to be insulted?” Rao had told Singh, his colleague in the ministry who was also then said to be close to the Gandhi family.

BJP has in the past accused Congress of not giving Rao his due.