Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday warned of ‘tough decisions’ over the next couple of years to improve the country’s financial health, which, he said, may not go down well with some sections. He also attacked the way the previous UPA government had handled the economy.
“Taking tough decisions and strong measures in the coming one or two years are needed to bring financial discipline, which will restore and boost the country’s self-confidence,” he said, addressing BJP workers in Goa.
This is the first occasion in less than three weeks since taking over that Modi has made sharply critical comments on the previous Manmohan Singh government’s performance. “I have taken over the reins of the country in circumstances when there is nothing left behind by the previous government. They left everything empty. The country’s financial health has hit the bottom,” Modi said.
However, in the short run, such measures may not go down well with everybody, he said. “I am well aware that my steps may dent the immense love that the country has given to me. But when my countrymen would realise that these steps would result in getting the financial health back, then I will regain that love,” said the Prime Minister.
On the other hand, if these tough measures were not taken, the financial situation would not improve, he said, adding, “we need to take action wherever required”.
“We won’t be helping the country by praising Modi and praising the BJP. There is no guarantee that just singing praises of Modi would improve the situation. We need to take harsh measures to improve the financial situation,” he said.
Shortly later, Modi tweeted that “time has come to take tough decisions in the interest of the nation. Whatever decisions we take will be solely guided by national interest”.
Earlier in the day, after dedicating India’s largest warship, INS Vikramaditya, to the nation, Modi pitched for making the country self-reliant in manufacturing defence equipment, shedding dependence on imports.
“We need to give immense importance to latest technology. This will help the nation. Why should we import defence equipment? We must be self-sufficient. Why can’t we send our defence equipment to other nations?” he said.