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S&P's comment on PM smacks of politics: Moily

June 12, 2012 19:09 IST
Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday lashed out at global credit rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) for describing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "unelected" leader and saying the comment "smacked of politics".

"How can they pass reflection on political party and political leadership?" Moily asked referring to the rating agency's comments that the roadblocks for reforms are on account of division of roles between UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the "unelected" Manmohan Singh.

Citing division of roles between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, Standard and Poor's yesterday threatened to downgrade India's credit rating on projections.

Singh is "a great economist and statesman" and since 2009 he has been leading the government very well, Moily told reporters here.

S&P should realise its mistake and rectify it, he added. "How can a credit rating agency qualify the Prime Minister as unelected leader? Prime minister is an elected member of

the Rajya Sabha and has the full support of about 350 members, allies and supporting parties. I do not think this kind of support was available for any Prime Minister," he said.

"S&P cannot speak like this. The Congress and government have been working in harmony. Since 2004, they have been working very well," he said, adding that there were differences between political parties and the government during the BJP-led NDA reign.

The UPA-II government is fully supported by the Congress, he said. He pointed out that the party President (Sonia Gandhi) chose to sit back and gave the Prime Ministership to Singh when she herself could have occupied the top post thrice.

Moily said he does not think that any credit rating agency the world over had an approach of this type which "smacks" of politics.

The agency should go by economic criteria, Moily said. "Fundamentals are strong in the economy. India's FDI is better than China and the country has a strong economy and strong government," he said.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had rejected S&P's contention that India could be the first BRIC nation to falter and fall below investment grade in the ratings. He also said the economy will turn around this fiscal.

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