In a veiled attack on the ruling NDA government, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi heaped praise on former prime minister Manmohan Singh, saying “empty and fanciful boasts” were not his traits, and that during his tenure, the country had assurance that “no group or individual need feel insecure” in India.
“He is the very epitome of integrity, humility, sagacity and gravitas. Not for him tall claims. Not for him empty and fanciful boasts. Not for him self-promoting bombast. Not for him falsifications of facts and history. Not for him the language of abuse and vitriol,” Sonia said Monday, at a ceremony conferring the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development to Singh for 2017.
In what is being viewed as a swipe at the NDA government, Sonia said that Indira Gandhi’s famous quotation was one she had got from her grandfather Motilal Nehru: “There are those who work and there are those who take credit. Try to be in the first group.”
Receiving the award from former Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, Singh said that a narrow look at India’s diversity would make it more difficult in dealing with a globalised world.
Singh was conferred the award “for his leadership of India and its achievements during the period between 2004 and 2014 for his contribution to the cause of economic and social development, for raising India’s stature in the world and furthering its relations with its neighbours and leading nations of the world, and for his dedication to the security and well being of the ordinary citizens regardless of their faith, caste, religion and language”.
The prize comprises of Rs 25 lakh and a citation. The award for 2018 was conferred on the Centre for Science and Environment, a Dehi-based NGO led by Sunita Narain. The awarded is instituted by the Indira Gandhi Trust, chaired by Sonia Gandhi.