#PMPressMeet: Me, ‘˜murderer’ Modi, Rahulji and My Retirement

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announces retirement after 2014 general election, calls Narendra Modi a ‘mass murderer’ and praises Rahul Gandhi for ‘outstanding credentials’ in his press meeting.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a long press meeting today answering various questions from the media persons. Although his media dialogue comes a little too late, it was much wanted as he has roughly spoken thrice at length.

From the beginning of this press meeting, it was pretty clear that the PM was looking for a way to talk about himself for clearing his stands on various issues. He declared that he was going to “hand over the baton” to whoever Congress party would choose to become PM next.

In the middle of it, he made it pretty clear that his personal choice was Rahul Gandhi as he had “outstanding credentials” to lead the country.

But by the end of this press meet, it became more about attacking Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. In what should be considered the harshest criticism from him, Singh said that it would be “disastrous for the country” if Modi becomes the PM.

In fact, he does not even consider Modi to be worthy of becoming PM as he is a “mass murderer” in his eyes. It should be noted that Modi has been exonerated by the Supreme Court constituted Sit and Gujarat court too on Gujarat 2002 riots case. But it is clearly not enough for our PM.

However, he exonerated himself and his party from the 1984 Sikh riots by saying that he “apologized” in the parliament for the same. But Modi’s apology blog and Sadbhavana fast was a menial thing to him.

What was worst that the PM did not take any solid stand on corruption. When asked about the letter written by opposition leader Arun Jaitley to him on Virbhadra Singh bribery case, he said that he had “not had time to look into it”.

Singh is the longest serving PM of the country after first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. He praised UPA’s governance and legislative measures. He also added that the corruption charges pertained to UPA I but people gave mandate to them even after that for second term.

Here are his statements on key issues:

Narendra Modi

“”Without discussing the merits of Narendra Modi, I sincerely believe that it will be disastrous for the country to have Modi as the PM…India does not want such a prime minister.”

“If by strong prime minister you mean you preside over the massacre of innocents on the streets of Ahmedabad, that is not the kind of strength I will like to have.”

“I sincerely believe what Mr Narendra Modi is saying (about BJP coming to power) is not going to materialize.”

Rahul Gandhi

“Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be nominated as the (prime ministerial) candidate, and I hope our party will take that decision at the appropriate time.”

“I have always felt that our government would have been strengthened if Rahul had been part of our government, but Rahul felt he had responsibilities to the party which did not permit him to join the government and I respect that.”

About himself

“I do not believe that I am a weak prime minister. That is for the historians to judge”

PM Candidate

“The Congress will announce its prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha election at the appropriate time.”


“In a few months’ time, after the general election, I will hand the baton over to a new prime minister…I hope it will be a UPA chosen prime minister, and our party will work to that end in the campaign for the general elections.”

“I am confident that the new generation of our leaders will also guide this great nation successfully through the uncharted and uncertain waters of global change.”

Asked if he would play an active role in the party after his tenure ends: “I haven’t thought through…It is too early. I still have five months to complete my present tenure. When I reach that stage I will cross that bridge.”


“Corruption is an issue and AAP has been able to make a success of their concern for eradication of corruption…whether they will succeed or not, only time will tell.”

On Corruption

“Dealing with corruption is not an easy process… we must collectively grapple with the task of dealing with corruption. This is not a matter that only one party can accomplish. Various parties have to work together to deal with this monster.”

When asked about Aun Jaitley’s letter on Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh bribery case: “I haven’t had time to look into that (letter).”

Legislative measures

“I also feel satisfied with our legislative efforts. Despite unprecedented parliamentary hold-ups, we have passed several important laws that seek to empower our people and our democratic institutions.”

On governance

“I cannot divulge all the things that take place in the cabinet system of government. Taking into account the circumstances and compulsions of coalition polity, I have done as best as I could do under the circumstances.”


“The rate of growth achieved in the last nine years of UPA rule is the highest in any nine year period. Equally important was that the growth process was made more inclusive than ever.”

On speaking less

“Whenever there was a need, I have been speaking at the party forum. I will continue to do so in the future.”

Unemployment and Inflation

“I will be honest enough to say that price rise was a factor in people turning against Congress. I have already explained why price rise took place…it was because of factors beyond government’s control in international market.”

“We have taken enough measures to protect weaker sections of our society. Prices of food grains have not increased since 2003. Through MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), we have ensured rural wages earned by agricultural labour.”

“I am concerned that we have not been as successful as we need to be in generating employment in the manufacturing sector. This is an aspect of performance which we are working hard to correct.”

“We need a much stronger effort in support of small and medium enterprises which can be a major source of good quality employment. Our manufacturing strategy gives high priority to this objective for the future.”

“We have also not been as successful in controlling persistent inflation as we would have wished. This is primarily because food inflation has increased. However, we should remember that our inclusive policies have put more money in the hands of the weaker sections… To keep food prices in control, we need to increase supplies and also improve marketing arrangements and logistics. This is especially important for items which are perishable such as fruits and vegetables.”

Better times ahead

“Let me say at the outset that I do believe we are set for better times, the cycle of global economic growth is turning for the better.” “Many of the steps we have taken to address our domestic constraints are coming into play. India’s own growth momentum will revive.”

On democracy

“The recent assembly elections have again demonstrated the strength of Indian democracy. Our people have voted in record numbers in recent assembly elections.”

“The Congress did not do well in these elections but we welcome the extent of participation (in the elections) and we will reflect what the results tell us and learn the appropriate lessons”.

“All of us who wish to build a better India … must respect these institutions and work through them. They are the legitimate instruments in our hands (despite) limitations.”


“I was born in a village which is now part of west Punjab. But as prime minister of the country, I should go to Pakistan if conditions are appropriate to achieve solid results.”

“Ultimately I felt that the circumstances were not appropriate (to visit Pakistan). I still have not given up the hope of going to Pakistan before (giving up office).”

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