Manmohan Singh blasts Modi in video message just before Punjab elections

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In sharp words aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused him of blaming Jawaharlal Nehru for every problem.

With just few days to go for the Punjab election, former prime minister Manmohan Singh hit out at the ruling BJP describing its nationalism as “fake and dangerous and based on the British policy of divide and rule”.

In a video message on the eve of the crucial February 20 state election, Singh, without naming PM Narendra Modi, said the PM’s post had a special significance and blaming history or a former prime minister for the country’s problems wouldn’t help.

Urging the people of Punjab to vote for the Congress which, he said, was the only party that could address the state’s development, farm prosperity and unemployment challenges, the former PM launched a scathing attack against the government saying “it was busy blaming the country’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru for national problems instead of accepting and correcting the mistakes of seven years of its rule”.

“Today’s circumstances are worrisome. Due to faulty policies of the government during Covid times, people are anguished by a shrinking economy, rising prices and joblessness. But the incumbent government, despite ruling for seven years, instead of accepting and correcting its mistakes, is busy blaming Jawaharlal Nehru for the problems. I believe the position of the PM has a special significance and you cannot escape your sins by blaming history or the country,” said Manmohan Singh, star campaigner for Punjab.

Singh has not been able to travel due to health reasons.

In a video message on Thursday, Singh said that as PM for 10 years, he always let the work do the talking for him.

“We never divided the country for vested political gains. We never tried to shroud the truth. We never undermined the esteem of the country or the PM’s position. People today are being divided. This government’s fake nationalism is empty and dangerous. Their nationalism is based on the British policy of divide and rule,” said Singh days after PM Modi accused the Congress of being the leader of the ‘tukdetukde; gang and dividing and ruling.

In a veiled swipe at PM Modi, Singh said, “I hope that the incumbents would have realised by now that by hugging leaders, making them sit in swings and stopping by uninvited to have biryani does not improve bilateral relations. The government should also realise that it cannot change its character by changing its face. The truth comes out in some form or the other.”

The ex-PM also questioned the government’s foreign policy saying “The issue is not just of internal tensions. This government has proved a complete failure even on foreign policy. Chinese soldiers are sitting in our land for a year. And attempts are being made to bury the entire matter.”

He said India is at a significant crossroads today, “old friends are getting alienated and relations with neighbours are deteriorating”.

Accusing the BJP government of weakening constitutional bodies, the former PM said the ruling dispensation did not have “even one bit faith in the Constitution which is the basis of India’s democracy”.

The former PM said it was easy to talk big but very tough to implement that talk.

“Elections are under way in five states. The people of Punjab face major challenges and it is important to face them effectively. It is important to address the issues of farmers and joblessness and take the state on the road to development. Only the Congress can do these things. I urge Punjabis to support the Congress,” Singh said.

The former PM also accused the government of trying to defame Punjab and Pubjabiyat during the farmers’ agitation. Punjab, a state whose sacrifices the world acknowledges, was insulted, he said.