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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 13, 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday asked citizens to be careful about attempts being made to re-interpret secularism with an aim to divide the nation, an apparent attack on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Addressing the annual conference of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) in the capital, Manmohan Singh said the country had a glorious tradition of “pluralism” and “tolerance”, which was being sought to be altered.

“I think it is of utmost importance to remember that we have age old traditions of pluralism and tolerance. We should be cautious of people who work against India’s secular thought by attempting to redefine secularism,” the PM said.

From saying that Modi would be a disaster as PM on January 3 to holding up Swami Vivekananda as an icon against bigotry, Singh has sharpened his criticism of Modi and the opposition BJP in recent weeks.

Manmohan Singh also asserted that his government had done its best to ensure social and economic justice for minorities and had even convinced the private sector to take affirmative action for them.