Manmohan Singh questions PM Modi’s language in Karnataka speeches, writes to President Ram Nath Kovind
Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be cautioned against using words that were “threatening, intimidating in content and a public warning” against the leaders of the Congress, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and several leaders of the main opposition party have said in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind.
The letter, written on May 13 and signed by Singh, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Karan Singh and others, points to a video of the Prime Minister’s speech on May 6 in Karnataka’s Hubli during an election rally.
Modi reportedly warned Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi not to “cross the limits of public decorum” or else they would have to pay for it. He did not directly name any leader but mentioned “Congress ma (Congress mother)” and her son in an apparent reference to the Gandhis.
Singh and other leaders said all the prime ministers in the past maintained “immense dignity and decorum” in the discharge of public or private functions and actions.
The letter said the “threat held out by the Prime Minister to the INC’s leadership deserves to be condemned”.
“This cannot be the language of the Prime Minister of a constitutionally governed democratic country of 1.3 billion people. Such discourse whether in public or private is unacceptable conduct. The words used are menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of peace,” Singh and other leaders said.
“The Congress leadership has always exhibited courage and fearlessness in facing threat and challenges. We would like to state that neither the party nor our leaders will be cowed down by such threats,” they said in the letter.
They added the Prime Minister cannot use “menacing language” as it “tantamounts to using his powers and privileges as the Prime Minister to settle personal and political scores”.
“Hon’ble President may caution the Prime Minister from using such unwarranted, threatening and intimidating language against leaders of the Congress party or any other party or person as it does not behove the position of the Prime Minister,” they said.