Round 2: Manmohan, Modi slug it out again

This scam of the UPA Government was even bigger than CWG, 2G and Coal Scams! pic.twitter.com/ApMqeipBZP

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 13, 2017   “… I do not know whether Ficci has done any survey on the way the previous government policies have plagued the banking sector? Nowadays, the non-performing assets is the biggest liability given to this government by economists sitting in the previous government,” he said in a veiled jibe at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Modi also said he was keen to know what were the institutions like Ficci doing when some of the people sitting in the government were pressurising banks to lend to some industrialists. “The people in the previous government knew and the banks knew. The industry was also aware. The market-related institutions also knew that this was going wrong.” This Modi attack was preceded in the day by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh repeating by video his accusation of Modi spreading “falsehood and canards” and tarnishing every constitutional office in a bid to win the Gujarat election and asked him to “apologize to the nation”.     “I am deeply pained and anguished by the falsehood and canards being spread to score political points in a lost cause by none less than … Modi,” the Congress leader said in a video release in a repeat of his Monday statement. Manmohan Singh said the Congress needed no sermons on nationalism from the Bharatiya Janata Party and a Prime Minister whose “compromised track record in fighting terrorism is well known”. Reading out his hard-hitting statement of December 11, Manmohan Singh again denied Modi’s charge that he and others, including former Vice President Hamid Ansari and former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, discussed the Gujarat election with Pakistani diplomats at a dinner at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence. Manmohan Singh said it was also “wrong and unfair” to question the nationalism of journalists, diplomats and public servants who attended the dinner. “Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of the Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable. “Sadly and regrettably, Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a former Prime Minister and Army chief.” Modi alleged at a rally in Gujarat that guests at Aiyar’s house discussed the Assembly election with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India and former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri. “I reject the innuendos and falsehoods as I did not discuss the Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Aiyar, as alleged by Modi. Nor was the Gujarat issue raised by anyone else present at the dinner,” Manmohan Singh said. “The discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations,” he added. “Let me remind Modi that he had gone to Pakistan uninvited after the terrorist attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur. “Let him also tell the country the reason for inviting the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan to our strategic air base in Pathankot (in Punjab) to investigate terror attack that emanated from Pakistan.” He said: “My track record of public service to the country over the last five decades is known to everyone. No one, including Modi, can lamely question it to gain lost political ground.” Manmohan Singh went on: “I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds, instead of concentrating his energy solely on scoring erroneously conceived brownie points. “I sincerely hope that he will apologize to the nation for his ill-thought transgression (so as) to restore the dignity of the office he occupies.” Amit Shah amused and surprised Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Wednesday said he was surprised and amused to see former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh so angry on the eve of the second phase of polling in Gujarat as Singh did not exhibit such belligerence earlier. “We want to ask respected Manmohan Singhji why was he not angry and anguished when a Chief Minister (Narendra Modi) was called ‘Maut Ka Saudagar’ (trader of death),” Shah said. “The Prime Minister of this country, who is respected worldwide, was called ‘neech’ (base person) by his party colleague Mani Shankar Aiyar, but we are yet to see its condemnation from Manmohan Singhji. “Where was Manmohan Singhji’s anger when Rahul Gandhi tore an Ordinance which his Cabinet had cleared? Where was his concern for the dignity of the Prime Minister’s Office?” the BJP leader said. He said he was “amused” to see the Congress party “so desperate” before the Gujarat elections. “Just a day before polling, both Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singhji are only maliciously attacking the Prime Minister. It was only after the secret meeting was exposed that Manmohan Singhji said that the discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations. Why did he try to hide it (earlier)?” Shah said. // ]]>