BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 6: Shedding his normal mild and soft–spoken way of going about things, veteran Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today picked up the gauntlet and went hammer and tongs at rendra Modi, listing the “failures” of his successor on a broad range of issues.
Addressing an election meeting for Congress candidates for the four Guwahati seats, a combative Singh said the BJP government is repackaging schemes launched by the UPA government and taking undue credit, besides trying to water down some of the provisions of pro–people legislations like Food Security Act, Right to Education etc.
“During the election campaign of 2014, Modiji spoke very eloquently about the black money kept by Indians in foreign banks. He promised that within no time of his coming to power, the money would be brought back to India and every citizen would get Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts. But ironically the government has failed miserably to honour its solemn promise to the people of India,” Singh said.
“This is what the dream–merchant is selling all the time. All he achieved in these two years is that he has forced crores of people to open bank accounts. But people are asking what will they do with bank accounts when they have nothing to keep in the bank? There is a saying in English that action speaks louder than words. However, it seems Modiji forgot this basic tenet of public life,” he said.
Singh said Modi’s foreign trips have been projected as “great achievements”, “though everybody knows that these have yielded nothing yet”.
He said the government’s policy towards Pakistan is in shambles even as terrorists from that country continue to operate freely not only in Jammu & Kashmir but also in Punjab and other neighbouring states.
On the economic front, Singh said, agriculture in the last two years has been stagnt, bringing large scale distress to farmers.
“Industrial production has also remained stagnt with the result that employment shows no signs of growth. Exports have continued to decline month after month in the last fifteen months,” he said.
The recent incidents in Hyderabad Central University and Jawaharlal Nehru University are indicative of the Central Government’s attempts to curb freedom of expression and to polarize Indian polity along commul lines, he said.
Singh said imposition of President’s rule in Aruchal Pradesh and Uttrakhand “reveals the Modi Government’s desire to hurt democracy and promote centralization of power, in violation of constitutiol norms.”
Lauding Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for his achievement in “steering Assam in the last 15 years from fincial mess to the height of prosperity”, Singh said Gogoi and his team worked diligently to bring both peace and development to the State.
Singh also lashed out at the NDA government for scrapping the special category status for Assam and a few other states.
Alleging that the BJP was trying to divide the society of Assam, the former PM asserted that the people will never allow such “a conspiracy to succeed”.
“The people of Assam have nurtured a long tradition of syncretism, unity, harmony and tolerance. This is the land of Sankardeva, Madhabdeva, Ajan Fakir, Sukapha, Lachit Borphukan, Chilarai and Bagh Hazarika. This land of Assam has always stood united in times of crisis. Congress party is the product of this syncretic tradition from pre–Independence period and this tradition has been kept alive in the post–Independence period as well,” he added, appealing to the electorate to give the Congress a strong mandate.