Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Modi Lowered the Dignity of PM Office, Says Former PM Manmohan Singh; Appeals to Punjab Voters to Vote for Punjabiyat

Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made a fervent appeal to Punjab voters, urging them to safeguard democracy and the Constitution from what he describes as repeated assaults by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). With only two days left before the crucial vote, Singh’s message, shared by Congress on X, seeks to rally the people of Punjab, whom he called “warriors,” against the BJP’s policies and actions.

“India is standing at a crucial juncture. In the impending last phase of voting, we have one final chance to ensure that democracy and our Constitution are protected from the repeated assaults of a despotic regime trying to unleash dictatorship in India,” Singh wrote. He emphasized Punjab’s spirit of sacrifice, courage, and belief in democratic values, urging voters to protect these ideals.

In a sharp critique of PM Modi’s rhetoric, Singh accused him of lowering the dignity of the Prime Minister’s office with divisive and hateful speeches. “Modi ji is the first Prime Minister to lower the dignity of public discourse, and thereby the gravity of the office of the Prime Minister,” he said, urging voters to choose love, peace, fraternity, and harmony.

Singh strongly criticized the BJP’s treatment of Punjab and its people, particularly in light of the farmers’ protests against the three controversial farm laws. He highlighted the plight of the farmers, stating, “750 farmers, mostly belonging to Punjab, were martyred while incessantly waiting at Delhi borders, for months together.” Singh accused Prime Minister Modi of insulting farmers by labeling them “Andolanjeevis” and “parasites” in Parliament, while their only demand was the repeal of the farm laws.

The former PM also targeted Modi’s unfulfilled promises, particularly the pledge to double farmers’ income by 2022. He pointed out that the national average monthly income of farmers remains a meager Rs. 27 per day, with an average debt per farmer of Rs. 27,000. Singh criticized the high costs of inputs and erratic farm export and import policies that have devastated farmers’ savings. He contrasted this with the Congress-UPA government’s achievements, including a Rs 72,000 crore loan waiver and increased MSP, which he claimed doubled agricultural growth during their tenure.

Singh outlined the Congress party’s five guarantees under ‘Kisaan Nyay,’ which include a legal guarantee of MSP, a stable export-import policy for agriculture, a Permanent Commission on Agricultural Finance, timely compensation for crop losses, and removal of GST on farm inputs. “These steps would create an environment for the second generation of agricultural reforms,” he said.

On the economic front, Singh lamented the BJP’s handling of GDP growth, citing policies like demonetization, flawed GST implementation, and mismanagement during the COVID pandemic as reasons for the economy’s decline. “Growth under the BJP government has plunged to under 6 percent, while during Congress-UPA tenure, it was about 8 percent (New Series). Unprecedented unemployment and unbridled inflation have greatly widened inequality,” he noted.

Singh also criticized the BJP’s Agniveer scheme, claiming it undermines the value of patriotism and service by offering only a four-year stint in the armed forces. He pledged that Congress would abolish the scheme, emphasizing the importance of stable and long-term recruitment for national security.

Highlighting the Congress-UPA government’s efforts in Punjab, Singh listed several initiatives, including the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, a new oil refinery in Bhatinda, and educational institutions like IIT Ropar and National Law University in Patiala. He contrasted this with what he described as the BJP’s neglect of Punjab, especially in terms of funding and development.

Singh concluded his appeal with a quote from Allama Iqbal, “Phir uthi akhir sada touheed ki Punjab se, Mard-e-kaamil ne jagaya Hind ko Phir khwaab se,” calling on Punjab voters to vote for development and inclusive progress, ensuring a bright and democratic future for India.

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