What PM said in MP: Congress can indulge in personal attacks, BJP can’t

The fire has been going on both sides but here Singh accused BJP of bringing down the standard of political discourse.

The personal scathing remarks are in this season. With the main rival parties – Congress and BJP – hitting out at each other, it is becoming more and more often. The regulars in this game are big wigs like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice-president and party’s possible PM nominee Rahul Gandhi and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Continuing with the scathing remarks, PM Singh launched fresh attack on Modi accusing him and his party of resorting to falsehood to target rivals and vitiating the atmosphere with their ‘politics of negativism and separatism’.

However, Singh did not take Modi’s name directly and instead referred to him as BJP leader from Gujarat and ‘big BJP leader’. He said there were ‘several question marks’ over the Gujarat model of development which the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate has been flagging in many of his election speeches.

“The BJP leader from Gujarat is always talking about the Gujarat model of development. But it is well known that several question marks were raised over the Gujarat model of development.

“The model need not work for the whole country. India is a very vast country where only one model of development could not work for all the regions,” he said at the election meeting at the Wright Town stadium in Jabalpur.

It should be noted that the trend of referring to Modi without taking his name was set by Sonia Gandhi in her recent rallies. Singh only continued with it.

Interestingly, the fire has been going on both sides but here Singh accused BJP of bringing down the standard of political discourse and asked the people to ‘think seriously’ what the party which believes in ‘demeaning others’ will do to the country.

Taking potshots at Modi, he said the Gujarat leader had made ‘several goof-ups in matters relating to history’. “This showed what kind of a man he is,” Singh said in his speech.

“In his zeal to malign others, a big BJP leader often resorts to falsehoods. He frequently distorts historical facts. Once in his enthusiasm to attack Congress, he misrepresented facts about a leader who is respected a lot in BJP,” he added.

It should be noted that reports of Modi goofing up at Patna rally was reported in the media. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar too had given a point-by-point rebuttal of Modi’s speech.

“It is good for our democracy that political parties have enthusiasm. But it should be for constructive work. This should be used to tell people what good they will do if voted to power. It seems to me, though, that the enthusiasm of BJP leaders is all about condemning others,” Singh said.

“In the last few months, we are seeing a lot of negative politics and the standard of political debate has gone down drastically,” Singh said, accusing BJP of starting it all.

However, Singh forgot to mention the deeds of his own party members including party president who had called Modi “Maut ka saudagar” and Rahul Gandhi’s remarks who has dubbed BJP as party of “thieves”.

The Prime Minister noted that over the past few days the BJP had been praising several Congress leaders from the past. “It is a matter of happiness for my party. Such men were not only leaders of the Congress, but of the whole country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said, “The BJP should never forget that it was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had first imposed a ban on RSS for being allegedly involved in communal activities.”

Asking the opposition to look at UPA’s record before levelling allegations of lack of development under its rule, he said the country achieved record growth in last nine years.

Singh’s speech was another indulgence in personal attacks with less focus on real issues. Last we remember, Congress strategies were not working well when it came to Modi and he was almost ‘voldemort’ for the party. His accusations are made on shaky ground. Hope his lashing doesn’t backfires.

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