NEW DELHI: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he should exercise restraint while visiting the states not ruled by the BJP. Mr Singh said it was obligatory for the prime minister of the country to refrain from using terse language, adding he must lead by example.
“My advice to the prime minister is that he should exercise due restraint becoming of the office of the prime minister,” Manmohan Singh said at an event.
“The prime minister, when he goes to states which are ruled by parties other than to which he belongs, I think, has an obligation not to use language of the kind which has now become a common practice,” Mr Singh added.
He gave his example when he was the prime minister of the country. He said PM Modi must ask Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan that the centre never discriminated against the states.
“So what I would say is that the prime minister of the country must set an example… he is the prime minister for all citizens of our country and his conduct must be worthy and consistent with that obligation that he/she has as prime minister,” he told the gathering.
PM Modi has led an aggressive campaign for the BJP in the poll-bound states, often attacking the top leadership of the Congress. He has also attacked the Nehru-Gandhi family. At a rally in Chhattisgarh earlier this month, he hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, asking if his “grandparents” helped Chhattisgarh progress by laying out water pipelines.
“Why didn’t you do it for 100 years? You were around for four generations but why didn’t you do it? Can you answer that? Did you lay down water pipelines? Did your nana-nani, dada-dadi (grandparents) lay it down? And did Raman Singh come and destroy it? First you give us an account of why you did not do it. Then come and ask us why we couldn’t,” PM Modi said at an election rally in Ambikapur.
The comment had been criticised by the Congress.
On Sunday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said PM Modi was “not prime ministerial” in his election campaign as he indulged in “falsification of history and abuse of political rivals”.
With inputs from PTI