Full text of Manmohan Singh’s statement on PM Modi’s Pakistan collusion remarks
Former PM Manmohan Singh crossed swords with PM Narendra Modi and rejected his charge of collusion with Pakistan as “falsehoods”.Updated: Dec 11, 2017 21:19 IST
A rare row between a sitting and a former premier broke out today after Narendra Modi insinuated that Manmohan Singh colluded with Pakistan in the Gujarat polls with the Congress leader accusing his successor of setting a “dangerous precedent” and asking his apology.
Launching a sharp counteroffensive, Singh tore into Modi over what he called the prime minister’s “ill-thought transgression” and rejected his charge as “innuendos and falsehoods”.
In uncharacteristically strong words, a usually reticent Singh crossed swords with his successor to say that the Gujarat polls was never raised by anyone present at a dinner hosted by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for a visiting Pakistani leader at his house on December 6 and that the discussion was confined to India-Pakistan ties.
Here’s the full text of Manmohan Singh’s statement:
I am deeply pained and anguished by the falsehood and canards being spread to score political points in a lost cause by none less than Prime Minister, Sh. Narender Modi. Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable. Sadly & regrettably, Sh. Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a Former Prime Minister and Army Chief.
The Congress Party needs no sermons on “Nationalism” from a party and Prime Minister, whose compromised track record on fighting terrorism is well known. Let me remind Sh. Narender Modi that he had gone to Pakistan uninvited after the terrorist attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur. Let him also tell the country the reason for inviting the infamous ISI of Pakistan to our strategic Air Base in Pathankot to investigate a terror attack that emanated from Pakistan.
My track record of public service to the country over last five decades is known to everyone. No one, including Sh. Modi, can lamely question it to gain lost political ground.
I reject the innuendos and falsehoods as I did not discuss Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar as alleged by Shri Modi. Nor was the Gujarat issue raised by anyone else present at the dinner. The discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations. Names of the distinguished Indian public servants and journalists present at the dinner are enclosed to this statement. None of them could be accused of indulging in any anti-national activities.
I sincerely hope that Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds instead of concentrating his energy solely on erroneously conceived brownie points. I sincerely hope that he will apologize to the Nation for his ill thought transgression to restore the dignity of the office he occupies.
On its part, Pakistan also rebuffed the allegations of a secret meeting between Congress leaders and its High Commissioner, saying India should stop “dragging” Islamabad into its electoral debate and termed Modi’s remarks as “baseless and irresponsible”.
(With agency inputs)