Saying that the country was passing through a deep economic crisis for the first time since Independence, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the country needed a 'realistic' prime minister and not an economist like Manmohan Singh.
Singh, an MP, said, "The prime minister is on the silent mode and soch raha hai (thinking what to do). The prime minister is a big economist. Vajpayee was not an economist but a realist. You compare the economy during the NDA and UPA regimes."
"After the UPA came to power in 2004, the rupee went to the ventilator, the dollar is climbing the escalator and the domestic investors are on the runway ready to invest overseas and the educated youth is on the runway," Singh said at an interactive session organised by ICC and MCC Chamber.
Singh noted that during the NDA regime from 1998 to 2004, India was a current account surplus nation, but turned into a current account deficit country during the UPA rule.
Pointing out that the UPA government had made a deadly combination of high external debt and high current account deficit, Singh said, "The present problems are beyond the control of the UPA government and India needs a change."
The BJP had repeatedly asked the government in both houses of Parliament to take steps to control the CAD, but nothing had been done.
"All this happened due to wrong policies and planning of the government as well as rampant corruption. I am saying that the success story is not over, but waiting for the return of the BJP," he said.
Singh also criticised the government for having no conviction or vision.
"There is no conviction or vision of the government which was the result of an all-round deterioration in all the sectors. The bureaucratic hurdles can be done away in a whiff. But it depends on political leadership," he said.
Singh said that blindly aping the western model of development had spelt doom for the country.
"There is a need to rethink on the country's development model. In this regard, he said that the BJP would present a vision document on an alternative economic model for the country which was already in an advanced stage of preparation. It would be announced in two months," he said.
Singh said that the model envisages higher purchasing power for villagers as 74 per cent of the population of the country was living in villages.
"It will embrace the Gandhian economic model where Gandhi talked of gram swaraj. If we don't do that, then a civil unrest will be knocking at the door," he felt.
Referring to China, he said that leaving aside the cities, most people of the country was extremely aggrieved at the Chinese government's economic policies and expressing their unhappiness.
"Nakal karke akal barhane se shakal bigar jate hai (increasing brainpower after imitating some will lead to ugly looks), he said. "There is no need to follow others," he said.
A major contender for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP said that it would take the credibility crisis of the politicians as a challenge.
Asked to comment on the Ranchi court's conviction on RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday on multi-crore fodder scam, BJP president Rajnath Singh said, "I will not comment on the court judgement."
"This will lead to the crisis of credibility of the politicians of the country and people want corruption-free politics," he told reporters at an interactive session organised by the ICC and MMC Chamber.
"BJP will take this up as a challenge," he said.