Manmohan Singh: Used harsh words against PM Modi, shouldn’t have done ithttps://indianexpress.com/elections/manmohan-singh-rafale-deal-demonetisation-modi-5457428/

Manmohan Singh: Used harsh words against PM Modi, shouldn’t have done it

Underlining that corruption was peaking under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said while the effects of demonetisation could not be reversed, people should take every step to throw out the government.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh. (File)

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said he used “harsh words” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and should not have done it, referring to his comments in 2014, where he had said Modi would be a disaster to the country. “I used harsh words which I should not have. Now people will make the decision,” he said at a press conference in Indore.

Singh accused Modi of misusing the PM’s post. “It does not befit the PM to abuse political opponents,” he said, adding Modi was using “unparliamentary words” against the opposition.

Stepping up the attack against the BJP-led government on Rafale, former prime minister Manmohan Singh questioned its reluctance in forming a joint parliamentary committee to probe the deal. Singh said it proved that the government had something to hide.

“The people of the country are suspicious of the Rafale deal. The opposition and various groups are demanding a joint parliamentary committee but Modi government isn’t ready for it. Isse pata lagta hai daal mai kuchh kaala hai,” he said at a press conference in Indore.

The Congress has been unflinching in its demand for a JPC probe into the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from the French government and the handling of the offset contract worth Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Limited, which has “absolutely zero experience in aircraft manufacturing”.

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On demonetisation

On demonetisation, the former PM said the exercise failed to achieve any of its stated objectives and was a monumental failure. “Demonetisation did not achieve any of the objectives stated by the Modi government. No black money was recovered,” he said.

Underlining that corruption was peaking under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said while the effects of demonetisation could not be reversed, people should take every step to throw out the government. “The next Congress government will simplify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) but demonetisation is a done act. Now, people should take every step to get rid of a government which took them to this disastrous path,” he said.

Training his guns on the institutional crisis that has gripped the CBI, where the agency’s No. 1 and No. 2 have accused each other of corruption and have been sent on leave, Singh said it was a calibrated effort to weaken democracy. “The rule of law is under attack, the credibility of institutions like Parliament and CBI are being systematically denigrated,” he said.

On unemployment

Joblessness has been one of Congress’ main poll plank in Madhya Pradesh and Singh reminded that the maximum number of people who ended their lives due to unemployment belonged to the BJP-ruled state. In fact, figures from employment exchange show that joblessness has risen by 50 per cent in MP in 2 years.

“On average, only 17,600 jobs were created every year in MP. Maximum people in India who ended their lives due to unemployment belong to BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. 2,81,000 youths with MBA, LLB, PhD have applied for 730 peons post in February 2018. That is one indicator of the severity of the crisis of joblessness in MP,” he said.