‘Those who aspire for the top constitutional post should get their facts right’
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to mislead people by distorting facts, making irresponsible statements, and concocting claims in its election meetings. Dr. Singh called upon the people to confirm the veracity of the BJP leaders’ claims before accepting them.
Seeking support for the ruling Congress in poll-bound Rajasthan at a rally at the Ramlila Ground here, Dr. Singh said some big leaders of the BJP were manipulating public opinion by misrepresenting facts and telling lies.
“We know that people do not vote for such leaders. People support parties which have a good track record and positive programmes and policies,” he said.
In an apparent reference to the BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, Dr. Singh said those who “aspire for the top constitutional post” should get their fact rights and speak with responsibility. “I regret to note that the BJP leaders have been raising concocted issues in each of their election meetings,” he said.
The Prime Minister asked people to stay away from political parties which were inventing a new definition of secularism to hide their communal ideology. “Unlike the BJP, our party does not believe in negative politics. We wish to put forth our views with decency and sincerity. We do not believe in using derogatory language for our political opponents.”
Dr. Singh affirmed that the Congress was the only party that could keep the nation united and lead the country on the path of progress. He took exception to “a BJP Chief Minister” making baseless allegations of human rights violations against the Rajasthan government and asked him to observe the track record of his own government.
“There was no occasion when his government was not facing allegations on these issues. Even the then Prime Minister and an esteemed BJP leader had advised him to follow Raj Dharma in such matters,” said Dr. Singh in reference to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s advice to Mr. Modi in 2002.
Dr. Singh appealed to the crowd to vote for Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections and pointed out that the ruling party had made all attempts to fulfil people’s expectations. The projects launched in Rajasthan during the past five years – the oil refinery in Barmer, the metro rail in Jaipur, the rail engine factory in Bhilwara and the airport in Kishangarh – would immensely benefit the people in the near future, he said. The free medicine supply scheme was benefiting about 2 lakh patients everyday, he added.
AICC general secretary C. P. Joshi and Chief Minister Mr. Gehlot also addressed the gathering. Mr. Gehlot said the BJP in the State would pay a “heavy price” for its allegation that the Congress-led government had not done anything for four-and-a-half years and had only come alive during the past six months. The Congress regime had worked for people’s welfare throughout, he added.