Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made a blistering attack on the ruling Narendra Modi government. Taking on the incumbent over its economic policies, agrarian distress and rise in communal incidents, the former PM said the “idea of India” is under “attack” in this government.
“This very idea of India is now under systemic assault. We must understand how this assault is being mounted and then come up with our response,” said Dr. Singh in his address to the members and volunteers of NSUI, Congress party’s student wing.
Claiming that the Congress party has always ensured that India flourishes as an open pluralistic, liberal secular democracy proud of its composite heritage, he said “Institutions of democracy are under threat. The entire edifice of the welfare state is now being dismantled in the guise of promoting faster economic growth”.
The former Prime Minister also used the occasion to counter the charges levelled by the BJP against him of letting scams happen under his own watch. For the fact, BJP, when in opposition had aggressively taken on the ruling UPA over the issues of alleged corruption in 2G spectrum allocation, coal block allocation and commonwealth games preparations. But now, in opposition, Dr. Manmohan Singh launched his counter.
“I can say in all humility that I have not used my public office to enrich myself, to enrich my family or my friends,” asserted the former PM.
Dr. Singh’s remarks had come a day after Pradeep Baijal, former chief of TRAI (telecom regulatory authority), accused him of permissiveness towards alleged corruption in 2G spectrum allocation case in 2009. Baijal had alleged that Dr. Singh was perhaps in the know of alleged irregularities committed on the part of the then Union Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
“BJP government keeps on harping on the theme of corruption to divert people’s attention to non-issues,” he added.
He also came down heavily on the economic policies of current BJP-led NDA government, dubbing them detrimental to a robust economic growth. The former PM also attacked the flagship campaigns of NDA government like ‘Make in India’ by calling them an initiative devoid of any vision. In between, he tried to shelve the tag of ‘policy paralysis’ that had so dented the previous Congress-led UPA government.
“Talk of policy paralysis is untrue, when our government left, India was the second fastest growing economy. But now there is fragileness in economic recovery under present govt”.
“The Chief Economic Advisor of the Ministry of Finance and the RBI Governor are of the view that recovery is fragile and indeed if you look at the harsh reality you will find all is not well with the state of our economy under the BJP dispensation,” Dr. Singh said.
The former Prime Minister was inaugurating the 2 day session of National Students Union of India (NSUI) in Delhi. Addressing the young leaders and volunteers of the Congress party, he also raised apprehensions over the series of controversial statements made by PM Modi and his ministerial colleagues on historical events and recorded facts.
“Past is being continuously being rewritten to promote a highly biased and communal view of history,”
Lastly, taking a light jab at the ruling dispensation, the former PM said “Many of our programmes are now being repackaged and marketed as initiatives of the BJP government”.
“It does not surprise us. It is a compliment if BJP takes up the constructive work done by UPA. We have nothing but to be proud of our achievements,” he added.