'Nation needs inclusive, nationalist Govt'

| | New Delhi/Amritsar
  • 0

'Nation needs inclusive, nationalist Govt'

Friday, 31 May 2024 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi/Amritsar

In his first statement in the fag-end of ensuing Lok Sabha elections, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday accused his successor Narendra Modi of lowering the dignity of public discourse and the gravity of the office of the PM by giving "hateful speeches" during the poll campaign.

Singh also took the opportunity to make his stand clear after the controversy erupted when Modi had accused Singh of saying that Muslims have the first right on the country's resources.

On the last day of two months long campaign, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also expressed confidence that the INDIA Bloc will secure a clear majority in the Lok Sabha polls and give the country an inclusive and nationalistic Government, while senior leader Rahul Gandhi responded to Modi's assertion that the world only learned of Mahatma Gandhi through the film 'Gandhi'.

Rahul criticised those affiliated with the RSS, suggesting their lack of understanding regarding Gandhi's legacy.

Following Singh's statement, Kharge said Modi spoke about 'mandir-masjid' and divisive issues 421 times during the poll campaign despite the Election Commission's direction of no appeal for votes on caste and religion.

Earlier in an appeal to voters, particularly Punjab ahead of the seventh-phase of Lok Sabha polls on Saturday, Singh asserted that only the Congress can ensure growth-oriented progressive future where democracy and Constitution will be safeguarded. The senior Congress leader also hit out at the BJP Government for imposing an "ill-conceived" Agniveer scheme on the Armed forces. "The BJP thinks that the value of patriotism, bravery and service is only four years. This shows their fake nationalism," he said in a letter to voters of Punjab.

Mounting an attack on Modi, the former PM said, "I have been keenly following the political discourse during this election campaign. Modi has indulged in the most vicious form of hate speeches, which are purely divisive in nature. Modi is the first Prime Minister to lower the dignity of public discourse, and thereby the gravity of the office of the Prime Minister.

"No Prime Minister in the past has uttered such hateful, unparliamentary and coarse terms, meant to target either a specific section of 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," the former Prime Minister said.

Modi had accused Singh of saying that Muslims have the first right on the country's resources. Singh said people of India are seeing through all of this. "This narrative of dehumanisation has now reached its peak. It is now our duty to save our beloved nation from these forces of discord," Singh said in the letter.

Addressing a Press conference at the AICC headquarters on the last of campaigning for the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls, Kharge said people have endorsed their view that "it will be the end of democracy if the current Government gets another chance".

He also said Modi in his speeches in the last 15 days took the Congress' name 232 times and his own name 758 times. He didn't talk about unemployment even once, Kharge claimed.

Kharge also took a swipe at the Prime Minister over his comments in an interview that global awareness about Mahatma Gandhi came after Richard Attenborough's film, saying he may not have studied about Gandhi but the Mahatma is known the world over.

"Modi said he came to know about Mahatma Gandhi after watching the film 'Gandhi'. This is laughable, perhaps  Modi has never read about Gandhiji. The whole world knows Mahatma Gandhi, his statues are there at different places in the world, including in the UN," Kharge said. Kharge said Modi must read Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography to know more about him after June 4 when he will have a "lot of free time".

During his last leg rally in Odisha, Rahul on Thursday said renowned figures like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, and Albert Einstein drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi.

"Whose training is done in 'sakha' of RSS, they are followers of Godse, they do not know anything about Gandhiji. They do not know about the history of Hindustan, truth and violence. This is expected that the PM will tell that the world does not know anything about Gandhiji," he said.

Rahul concluded by saying further comments on the matter were unnecessary. "There is no need to make more comments (on the subject). Their world is in their sakha," Rahul said.

Sunday Edition

Dehradun | Mourning the lost sights

14 July 2024 | Sidharth Mishra and Paritosh Kimothi | Agenda

No Monkey Business this!

14 July 2024 | Gyaneshwar Dayal | Agenda

A Mesmerising Ode to the Eyes

14 July 2024 | SAKSHI PRIYA | Agenda

Sculpting India’s Cultural Landscape

14 July 2024 | SAKSHI PRIYA | Agenda

Exploring Humanity’s Connection in Art

14 July 2024 | Team Agenda | Agenda