: Congress leader P Chidambaram holds his first press conference after he was released from jail yesterday. The conference, in keeping with the Supreme Court order is not about the case, but the state of the economy.
In the presser, Chidamambaram said, "As I stepped out & breathed the air of freedom at 8 pm last night, my first thought and prayers were for the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir Valley who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019.
"I am particularly concerned about the political leaders who have been detained without charges. Freedom is indivisible, if we must preserve our freedom, we must fight for their freedom. I intend to visit Jammu & Kashmir if the government allows me to.
"My record as minister and my conscience are absolutely clear. Officers who have worked with me, business persons who have interacted with me and journalists who have observed me know that very well," Chidamabaram added.
"We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5%. Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanians caution that 5% under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5% but less by about 1.5%," he said.
"Economy can be brought out of slowdown, but this government is incapable of doing that. The government is clueless on economy; it is stubborn, mulish in defending catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST."
"The PM has been unusually silent on economy, has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster. Congress, some other parties better equipped to pull economy out of slowdown, but we have to wait for better times. The economic slowdown is a man-made catastrophe and the people responsible should be brought to task."