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‘Modi ji first Prime Minister to lower gravity of PM Office’: Manmohan Singh

First Published: 30th May, 2024 19:36 IST

57 constituencies across eight states and UTs will be voting in the seventh and last phase of general elections on June 1.

Launching a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that PM Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister to lower the dignity of public discourse and the gravity of PM office.

Ahead of the voting for the last phase of Lok Sabha elections, the former PM released a message urging voters to save the country from the “forces of discord” and give “peace and harmony” a chance.

57 constituencies across eight states and UTs will be voting in the seventh and last phase of general elections on June 1. All 13 seats of Punjab will also poll in the phase.

“India is standing at a crucial juncture. In the impending last phase of voting, we have one final chance to ensure that Democracy and our Constitution are protected from the repeated assaults of a despotic regime, trying to unleash dictatorship in India,” former PM Manmohan Singh said in the message.
He further said the BJP has left no stone unturned in “castigating” Punjab, Punjabis, and Punjabiyat in the last 10 years.

“Punjab and Punjabis are warriors. We are known for our spirit of sacrifice. Our indomitable courage and innate belief in the Democratic ethos of inclusiveness, harmony, amity, and brotherhood can protect our great nation,” the former PM said.

“In the past ten years, the BJP government has left no stone unturned in castigating Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiyat. 750 farmers, mostly belonging to Punjab, were martyred while incessantly waiting at Delhi borders, for months together. As if the lathis and the rubber bullets were not enough, none less than the Prime Minister verbally assaulted our farmers by calling them “Andolanjeevis” and “Parjeevi” (Parasites) on the floor of the Parliament. Their only demand was the withdrawal of the three farm laws imposed on them without consulting them,” he added.

Singh served as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014, where he headed the UPA government. Earlier, he also served as the Finance Minister from 1991-96 and as the RBI Governor from 1982-85.
In the message, Manmohan Singh claimed that while Prime Minister Modi had promised to double the income of our farmers by 2022, his policies have “eroded” the earnings of farmers.

He further stated that the Congress party in its manifesto has promised “Kisaan Nyay” including legal MSP guarantee, permanent commission for loan waivers and removal of GST on farm input products and equipment.

The former PM said that India’s economy has witnessed “unimaginable turmoil” in the last 10 years. He blamed the policies of the “demonetisation disaster”, a “flawed GST”, and the “painful mismanagement” during the COVID pandemic as the reasons behind it, adding that now a subpar 6-7 per cent GDP growth has become the “new normal.”

He said that the country’s youth are the “most neglected” section of society under the present dispensation, adding that Congress under its ‘Yuva Nyay’ guarantees had promised to fill 30 lakh vacancies.
Manmohan Singh also criticised the Agniveer Scheme for the armed forces, stating that BJP thinks the “value of patriotism, bravery and service is only 4 years.” He said that the youth of Punjab and sons of farmers who want to serve the country are thinking twice about getting recruited for a 4-year stint.
The former PM further alleged that the BJP government at the Centre “denied” funds to Punjab government during the Congress government in the state.
Attacking Prime Minister Modi, the former PM said that no Prime Minister in the past has uttered such “hateful, unparliamentary and coarse terms” meant to target either “a specific section of the society or the opposition”.
He also slammed PM Modi accusing him of attributing “false statements” to him.
This was an apparent reference to PM Modi’s recent attack on Congress, where he alleged Manmohan Singh said “Muslims have first right on country’s resources” during his tenure.
“I have been keenly following the political discourse during this election campaign. Modi ji has indulged in the most vicious form of hate speeches. which we purely divisive in nature. Modi ji is the first Prime Minister to lower the dignity of public discourse, and thereby the gravity of the office of the Prime Minister,” the former PM said.
“No Prime Minister in the past has uttered such hateful, unparliamentary and coarse terms meant to target either a specific section of the society or the opposition. He has also attributed some false statements to me. I have never in my life singled out one community from the other. That is the sole copyright of the BJP,” he said.
The former PM said that the narrative of dehumanization has reached its peak and it is people’s duty to save the nation from these “forces of discord” adding that only Congress can ensure a growth-oriented progressive future where Democracy and the Constitution shall be safeguarded.
“With folded hands. I appeal to each one of you to give love, peace, fraternity, and harmony a chance in India. I appeal to each voter in Punjab to vote for development and inclusive progress I appeal to all the young minds to exercise caution and vote for a brighter future. Only Congress can ensure a growth-oriented progressive future, where Democracy and the Constitution shall be safeguarded,” Manmohan Singh further said.
He ended his note with a couplet by Allama lqbal, “Phir uthi akhir sada touheed ki Punjab se, Mard-e-kaamil ne jagaya Hind ko Phir khwaab se.” (ANI)

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