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As PM, Manmohan Singh provided political stability in most uncertain times: Pranab Mukherjee
(NEW DELHI, Aug 05, 2018):Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister brought political stability to the country in the most uncertain times, former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday. Addressing a gathering after presenting the V C Padmanabhan Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 to Singh, Mukherjee said the former PM “provided stability in the most uncertain political climate of India between 2004 and 2014”.

Recalling those days, Mukherjee said “from 1991 to 1999, in eight years when there must have been one election, there were as many as three. ‘89 to ‘99, when there must have been just three elections, there were as many as five, and five governments.

At that stage when he assumed responsibility as Prime Minister, to provide a stable government, with firm dedication to improve the condition of the people, to bring legislations… like Right to Information, Right to Food, Right to Work…” Mukherjee said “these rights were declared not as solemn proclamation, but each and every right was backed by legislation, by an enactment in Parliament during the regime of Dr Manmohan Singh”.

On Singh’s ability to manage coalitions, the former President said the Congress had only 147 members in Lok Sabha at that time. “And how aptly and efficiently he manages the coalition, many people are witness and I am one of them,” Mukherjee said. “We will remain ever grateful to you Dr Saab for providing the political stability in the most uncertain times”.

He also praised Singh for managing the economy when it was passing through troubled times. Singh spoke about India’s gold consumption and said policymakers found that “many of India’s poor people, especially in our rural areas, bought gold because they did not have access to banks and this was the only avenue available to them to park their savings… because gold is liquid, they could draw money whenever they needed money.”

“In that sense, a good part of the demand for gold in India is to do with lack of financial literacy and gaps in spreading financial inclusion,” Singh said, adding he hoped this would change. The award is instituted by the Manappuram group in memory of its founder V C Padmanabhan.

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