Amid a debate over the quality of political discourse in the country, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday urged his successor, Narendra Modi, to exercise “due restraint” in his public speeches and said that the Prime Minister of a country must “set the example” for the people.
Addressing a gathering after releasing former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari’s book, “Fables of Fractured Times”, Singh also pointed out that terrorism achieves no purpose, and that friendly relations between India and Pakistan is the only way forward.
Replying to a question during a panel discussion after the book launch, Singh said, “My advice to the Prime Minister is that he should exercise due restraint becoming of the office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, when he goes to states which are ruled by parties other than to which he belongs, I think, has an obligation not to use language of the type that has now become common practice.”
While BJP president Amit Shah had recently accused the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government of discriminating against Madhya Pradesh in allocation of funds, Singh today said, “My relations with the governments of Madhya Pradesh (and) Chhattisgarh were very good. We never discriminated against the BJP-ruled states and (MP Chief Minister) Shivraj Singh-ji would himself certify what I am saying.”
Maintaining that the Prime Minister “must set an example, Singh said, “…He is the Prime Minister for all citizens of our country and his conduct must be worthy and consistent with that obligation that he or she has as Prime Minister.”
Earlier in his address, Singh remembered the victims of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. “One can only hope that saner elements would prevail between India and Pakistan to find a meaningful solution to the problems of getting control over acts of terror,” he said. “They do not achieve any purpose, and what is happening today in Kashmir is an indication of the suffering that strained relations between our two countries bring about.”