Why blame Nehru for people’s problems instead of admitting mistakes, Manmohan Singh asks Government

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the people of Punjab via a video link, ahead of the Assembly polls.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the people of Punjab via a video link, ahead of the Assembly polls. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Narendra Modi government cannot escape the responsibility for “mismanaging” the country by blaming the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday.

In his first video for Punjab voters ahead of the February 20 polls, Dr. Singh stated that one should be mindful of the dignity of the Prime Minister’s Office. All those who used to attack him as being silent and running a weak and corrupt government were now exposed.

Targeting the Centre on a host of issues, including the farmers’ agitation, price rise, unemployment and foreign policy, he accused the BJP of following a “fake nationalism” that followed the policy of divide and rule that was adopted by the British.

The video, in which Dr. Singh also raised the issue of the security breach of Prime Minister Modi’s convoy at Feorzepur last month, was played at a press conference in Chandigarh.

“A few days ago, in the name of the Prime Minister’s security, an attempt was made to defame Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the people of the State. During the farmers’ agitation too, an attempt was made to defame Punjab and Punjabiyat,” he said in his nearly 10-minute long message in Punjabi.

Foreign policy ‘failure’

According to him, the government had proved to be a “complete failure” on the issue of foreign policy. He alleged that Chinese troops were “occupying our pious land for the last one year but efforts are being made to bury this issue”. The government did not have trust in the Constitution and “institutions are continuously being weakened”.

“On the one hand, people are facing problems of price rise and unemployment and on the other, the government, which has been in power for the last seven and a half years, rather than admitting their mistakes and making amends, is still blaming first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for being responsible for people’s problems,” he said.

“I firmly believe that the Prime Minister’s post has a special dignity and by blaming history one cannot reduce one’s sins. Working as the Prime Minister for 10 years, I always preferred that my work should speak for itself. We never divided the country for political gains. We never tried to put curtains on the truth. Never allowed the country’s prestige to be lowered ,” he observed.

While the whole world saluted the bravery, patriotism and sacrifice of Punjabis, the government did not talk about any of this. “As a true Indian hailing from Punjab, all these things deeply hurt me,” he said.

Stressing the need to address the issues of Punjab’s development, farming and unemployment, he said that only the Congress could deliver on governance. He appealed to voters to ensure that the Congress emerges victorious.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2022 10:26:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/punjab-assembly/why-blame-nehru-for-peoples-problems-instead-of-admitting-mistakes-manmohan-singh-asks-government/article65059238.ece