At a public meeting in Jabalpur's Ravi Shankar Shukla stadium on Sunday, Prime Minister Manomhan Singh took on the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his gaffes. He also accused the BJP of playing divisive politics which he attributed to inherent negativity in their ideology.

“In his enthusiasm to malign other, a big BJP leader often resorts to lies. He regularly changes historical facts. Once, in his enthusiasm to attack Congress, he gave wrong facts about a leader who is highly respected in the BJP,” Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister expressed concern at the falling standards of political debate and asked voters to examine all the speeches leaders make to them. “I have come to tell you about the work you have seen the Congress do for 9 years. Our goal is economic progress that brings prosperity to all... I suggest to those who say we have not worked hard enough to analyse our track record.”

Dr. Singh also contrasted Madhya Pradesh's achievements in development with the nation's. “Poverty in India has reduced three-fold... Polio has been eradicated for two years now... In MP, infant mortality is the highest and 20 states are ahead of MP in literacy,” he told voters.

PTI adds

In a hard-hitting speech, Dr. Singh took jibes at BJP and said its enthusiasm was confined to criticising others. It was only interested in leveling personal attacks on other leaders, he said.

“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,” he said.

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

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