"Mr Singh has proved a hopeless decision maker as Prime Minister."
- Financial Times, London, April 15 2009
"The Government has assaulted and weakened every constitutional office: the Election Commission, Governors and Parliament."
- Outlook, March 2 2009
An excellent interview of Mr. Arun Jaitley by London based Financial Times. He talked on various topics including an Economic Disaster called Manmohan Singh, the incumbent Dhimmi Regent PM and Ottavio Quattrocchi case.
For those who don't understand sarcasm, please don't go running around saying BJP thinks Dhimmi Sardar is a good politician. They don't think so. Mr. Jaitley is just being sarcastic here. Sadly, he is actually pointing out the grim reality of Bharatiya politics that a disaster like this last government and the kind of misgovernance, Anti-Hindu vendetta politics & corruption it has committed, its disgusting that it can still dream of coming back to power. Whats even bad is that gullible citizens of Bharat might just make this nightmare come true.
Following an excerpt from the article.
Interview transcript: BJP’s Arun Jaitley, by James Lamont, the Financial Times’ South Asia bureau chief, and Sunandan Roy Chowdhury in New Delhi on May 7 2009
FT: How do you judge Manmohan Singh’s management of the economy over the past five years?
Jaitley: Manmohan Singh is the best politician India has seen. I can’t say the same about him as an economist.
I think he’s a great politician. He’s never won an election. He doesn’t contest elections. He’s not capable of winning an election. He’s incapable of campaigning. He’s incapable of winning mass activity.
That’s what democracy is about. Without doing any of these things to become a prime minister for five years and aspire for another five years, you have to be an outstanding politician. And then to maintain a Teflon image - I’m not a politician. I think he’s the cleverest post-independence Indian politician.
He’s not a leader. He was a good finance minister. He’s a terrible prime minister. He was a good finance minister because he was executing the policy ideas of another leader Narashima Rao. He just can’t take a decision.
FT: But as an economist?
Academically he knows the subject but he can’t implement what he knows. Because he’s not a leader, he’s a bad implementer of economic decisions. He inherited the economy when the boom period was there from 2004 to 2007. The economy grew because of the impetus from decisions taken from 1991 to 2004. A lot was attributed to global boom and a lot of it was entrepreneur driven. He has been pocketing the credit.
When the crisis came, he collapsed.
And when he collapsed, he collapsed so badly that now he says if I become Prime Minister again in 100 days I will fight the slowdown. That’s always the slogan of the opposition. In the first 100 days I’ll do this. The government in power can’t say this. The government in power has to tell us what it did in the last 100 days. And he won’t tell you a single step he will take in the next 100 days.
FT: What didn’t he achieve?
Jaitley: There was huge potential for infrastructural improvements in India. He picked up the most corrupt people and put them in charge of infrastructure departments as ministers. And that itself has led to a slowdown of infrastructure. Of our highways, our ports. Telecommunications is growing because the economy is growing and the operators are making it grow. But he did his best to prevent it.
For the last 150 days, the country has been without a finance minister. Look at what Barack Obama and Gordon Brown are doing. This man can’t come on television and give a simple economic statement to arouse the confidence of the nation. He can’t appoint a finance minister for 150 days at the peak of the slowdown. A finance ministry official told me there hasn’t been a meeting of the finance ministry officials since 1 December after P. Chidambaram left to decide any issue.
FT: What is your opinion of the Bofors corruption investigation being dropped?
Jaitley: Bofors is the only corruption case in India that has reached the doorstep of the prime minister. The deal was very simple. Trials by the Indian army preferred a French gun. After five trials, it preferred this gun. The sixth trial changed the preference to Bofors.
Before the fifth and sixth trials a company called AE Services entered into a contract with Bofors promising to get them the Indian order on 31/3/86 and being entitled to a kickback. The contract was signed on 24/3/86.
AE Services got the commission. The closest friend of Sonia Gandhi Ottavio Quattrocchi was AE Services. His name being AE Services is proof. The name was conveyed by the Swiss to India in 1993 and the document was given in 1997. According to me, it’s an open and shut case.
FT: But Quattrocchi will go free.
Jaitley: In 1993, he was allowed to escape by a Congress government out of India. His extradition was sought when he was in Malaysia. Malaysia doesn’t cooperate with India over extradition. Extradition is no proof of innocence. Manmohan Singh lied to the whole country when he said he had won the extradition case. Daoud (an fugitive Mumbai mafia boss) isn’t being extradited. That would mean that Daoud is innocent.
So when the Malaysians refused to extradite him. The Indian government moved to the Supreme Court. Between Friday and Monday - there was a weekend - this man absconded for a second time from Malaysia. That’s a victory in his favour. Then he arrested in Argentina. The Argentine court said it was a prima facie case. The government of India must ask the Argentine Supreme Court for permission to bring him to India. The government of India sent a message to the Indian ambassador saying it was a costly exercise therefore we should not pursue this in the Supreme Court. The accounts that were frozen…the Assistant Solicitor General goes to London and tells the Crown prosecutor to release the accounts. That’s the whole case.