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Modi attacked the government for the free fall of rupee against the US dollar

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Story Dated: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 08:53 hrs EDT

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today attacked the government for the free fall of rupee against the US dollar, attacking the Centre for "saving its chair" and not the economy.

"The country is disappointed today because the government is neither concerned about the economy nor the falling rupee. It is only worried about saving its chair," Mr Modi said.

The rupee continued its slide and slumped to a record low today, breaching the 64-mark against dollar.


"We never thought such a huge economic mess would be created. It's a grave concern and reflects lack of confidence in the leadership," Mr Modi, the BJP's presumptive prime ministerial candidate for 2014 said.

The domestic currency had yesterday recorded the decade's worst single-day fall of 148 paise to close at record low of 63.13 against the dollar in the previous session.

"The rupee has fallen rapidly in the past three months. But the government has not taken any steps to strengthen the rupee against the US dollar. If the rupee keeps falling like this, other countries will start taking advantage of India," the Gujarat Chief Minister said.

Terming the leadership as direction less, Mr Modi said, "The country might have never imagined that it would face such an economic crisis. But when leadership during such a crisis is direction less, then hopelessness increases. The Centre has not taken any step to instil confidence among people."

A spate of measures by the Reserve Bank of India and government has failed to halt the slide of the rupee, with liquidity tightening measures aimed at making it harder to short the currency pushing up borrowing rates and battering corporate and investor sentiment.

"I have been hearing for last five years that inflation would come down, but it has not happened. They have failed," said a combatant Mr Modi.

"Manmohan Singh only has bookish knowledge of the economy.  He does not know about the ground reality," said the BJP's Kirti Azad.

Leaders from other political parties too slammed the government and the Prime Minister for their failure to curb the weakening of the currency.

"Even as the talks are going on about providing cheap food grains to the poor, people are reeling under poverty. The value of rupee is sliding continually and it might breach the 100 mark," said Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal.

The BSE Sensex too fell 1.2 per cent to an 11-month low today.


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