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  India   Politics  31 May 2024  Modi indulging in vicious form of hate: Manmohan

Modi indulging in vicious form of hate: Manmohan

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 31, 2024, 2:12 am IST
Updated : May 31, 2024, 2:12 am IST

The 91-year-old former PM made an emotional appeal to Punjab voters ahead of Saturday's final phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. (PTI)
 Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. (PTI)

New Delhi: Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "lowering the dignity of the Prime Minister's Office with hate speeches," and denied ever singling out a community for special treatment. In a three-page appeal to voters in Punjab on Thursday, Dr Singh stated, "Modiji has indulged in the most vicious form of hate speeches, which are purely divisive in nature." He further criticised Modi for lowering the standards of public discourse, claiming no previous prime minister has used such "hateful, unparliamentary, and coarse terms" to target specific societal sections or the Opposition.

The 91-year-old former prime minister made an emotional appeal to Punjab voters ahead of Saturday's final phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election, urging them to use this "final chance to ensure our democracy and Constitution are protected from repeated assaults by a despotic regime."

Dr Singh also attacked the Central government over the state of the economy, criticising the demonetisation, GST implementation, and Covid-19 pandemic management. "The imposition of the demonetisation disaster, a flawed GST, and the painful mismanagement during the Covid pandemic has resulted in a miserable situation, where an expectation of subpar six to seven per cent GDP growth has become the new normal," he said.

He highlighted that the average GDP growth under the BJP government has fallen to under six per cent, compared to about eight per cent during the Congress-UPA tenure. He also pointed out unprecedented unemployment and inflation, which have widened inequality to a 100-year high.

Addressing the farmer protests that still haunt the government, Dr Singh criticised the handling of the protests and the treatment of farmers. He accused the government of "castigating Punjabis" and recalled Modi's derogatory remarks about farmers. "Modiji had promised to double the income of our farmers by 2022; his policies in the past 10 years have eroded the earnings," Dr Singh stated, adding that the national average monthly income of farmers is a meagre Rs 27 per day, while the average debt per farmer is Rs 27,000.

Dr Singh also flagged wage disparity and "widespread distress" among workers, highlighting his party’s election manifesto's five 'yuva nyay' pillars, which address unemployment among the youth. He committed to filling 30 lakh government job vacancies systematically and establishing fast-track courts for exam paper leak cases, with half of those jobs reserved for women.

The former prime minister also condemned the BJP's Agnipath military recruitment scheme, promising that the Congress would scrap it if elected. "BJP government imposed an ill-conceived Agniveer scheme on our armed forces... BJP thinks the value of patriotism, bravery, and service is only four years. This shows their fake nationalism," he said.

Dr Singh concluded his letter with a warning that India’s voters are seeing through the "narrative of dehumanisation" and called on them to "save our beloved nation from these forces of discord."

Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge expressed confidence that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc will secure a clear majority in the Lok Sabha polls, providing the country with an inclusive and nationalistic government. At a press conference on the last day of campaigning, Kharge said the people have endorsed their view that "it will be the end of democracy if the current government gets another chance." He criticised Modi for focusing on "mandir-masjid" and divisive issues 421 times during the campaign, despite the Election Commission's directive against appealing for votes on caste and religion. Kharge noted that Modi mentioned the Congress 232 times and himself 758 times in speeches over the past 15 days, without addressing unemployment even once.

 

Tags: manmohan singh, pm modi
Location: India, Delhi