Ex-PM Manmohan Singh attacks BJP & PM Modi in his appeal to Punjab voters

Former PM Manmohan Singh (Credit: IANS)

Former PM Manmohan Singh (Credit: IANS)

New Delhi | Former Prime Minister and Congress leader Manmohan Singh has attacked the BJP, saying that in the past 10 years, its government has left no stone unturned in “castigating Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiyat”.

He said this in a letter on Thursday posted on X by Congress, which comes two days ahead of the last phase of Lok Sabha elections when Punjab’s 13 seats will also go to polls.

The former PM while appealing to the Punjab voters, said, “In the past ten years, the BJP government has left no stone unturned in castigating Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiyat. 750 farmers, mostly belonging to Punjab, were martyred while incessantly waiting at Delhi borders, for months together. As if the lathis and the rubber bullets were not enough, none less than the Prime Minister verbally assaulted our farmers by calling them “Andolanjeevis” and “Parjeevi” (Parasites) on the floor of the Parliament. Their only demand was the withdrawal of the three farm laws imposed on them without consulting them.”

He said, “Punjab and Punjabis are warriors. We are known for our spirit of sacrifice. Our indomitable courage and innate belief in the Democratic ethos of inclusiveness, harmony, amity, and Brotherhood can protect our great nation.”

Rooting for his party’s guarantees, the ex-PM said, “Now, the Congress party has 5 guarantees under “Kisaan Nyay in our manifesto. These include a legal guarantee of the MSP, a stable export-import policy for agriculture, a Permanent Commission on Agricultural Finance for loan waivers, direct transfer of insured compensation to the farmers in 30 days in case of crop losses and removal of GST on farm input products and equipment. In my opinion, these steps would create an environment for the second generation of agricultural reforms.”

He said, “…for five years, when the Congress party was in power, the BJP government at the Centre was consistent in denying funds to Punjab. Whether they were meant for debt restructuring, a legacy issue of the previous BJP-Akali government, or for farm loan waiver, or the pending wage liabilities for MGNREGA.”

In the letter, the former Prime Minister attacked PM Modi, saying, that he (Manmohan Singh) has been keenly following the political discourse during this election campaign and the PM has indulged “in the most vicious form of hate speeches”.

The Congress leader quoted Allama Iqbal’s couplet, which he said was a tribute to the rich pluralistic civilisation of India.


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