Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has slammed his successor Narendra Modi for seeking seeking sympathy by time and again invoking his humble background.
“I don’t want the country to take a pity on the basis of my humble background. I do not think I would like to enter in any competition with Prime Minister Modi Ji on this particular matter,” Singh was quoted by ANI.
Singh’s attack comes in the midst of Modi actively seeking to seek votes for his party by frequently reminding about his self-proclaimed background of a tea-seller.
Last week, while addressing an election rally, Modi had said, “The Congress dislikes me because of my poor origins. Can a party stoop so low? Yes, a person belonging to a poor family has become PM. They do not fail to hide their contempt for this fact. Yes, I sold tea but I did not sell the nation.”
He had added, “I request the Congress not to mock the poor and my poor origins.”
Analysts say that Modi and his party invoking the prime minister’s humble background couple of Gujarati pride is a clever ploy to deflect voters’ attention from the core issue of development under the BJP government spanning over 22 years.
Calling demonetisation an “uninformed, half-baked crusade” and GST a “badly designed and hastily implemented” measure, Singh also lamented the “low-level rhetoric” used by the ruling party.
“I wish the prime minister would find more dignified ways of impressing upon the crowds and seeking their votes…,” he said.
“Just as you were recovering from one blow (of demonetisation), came the GST. Nobody consulted you or tried to understand how your dhandha (business) works,” he told a gathering of members of the local business community here.
“The prime minister is from Gujarat, and he claims to understand Gujarat and the poor more than anyone else. How is it that he never understood the pains his decisions will unleash on you?” Singh was quoted by PTI.
Gujarat goes to polls in less than a week’s time in two stages on 9 and 14 December. The counting will take place on 18 December.