Didn’t misuse office, says ManmohanManmohan meets Modi at 7RCR: Manmohan Singh meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his 7 Race Course Road residence on Wednesday evening. “Very happy to meet Dr Manmohan Singhji & welcome him back to 7RCR. We had a great meeting,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.

Didn’t misuse office, says Manmohan

Targets Modi, says secularism under threat | BJP asks if you didn’t, who benefited in 2G scam 28 May 2015 | 1:58 AM

NEW DELHI: Hours after slamming the NDA government, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh went to the 7 Race Course Road residence of the Prime Minister to meet him.

[ + read story ]

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 27

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected the allegations that he misused his office to extend benefits to his near and dear ones. 

Seeking to shed his soft stance, Singh said,  “As far as I am concerned, I can submit in all humility that I never used the public office to enrich myself, my family or my friends…Still, the BJP keeps on harping on this theme of corruption (during the UPA regime) to divert people’s attention to non-issues.” 

Singh also targeted his successor Narendra Modi for “assaulting the very idea of secular and liberal India, dismantling the edifice of welfare state, threatening the institutions of democracy and rewriting the past to promote a communal view of history”. 

The former PM was addressing a gathering here today after inaugurating a two-day convention of the National Students Union of India, the Congress’ student wing. 

The ruling BJP was quick to hit back. BJP chief Amit Shah said “if he didn’t enrich himself, it was his job too to ensure nobody else profited illegally”. The BJP’s veiled reference was to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Pradip Baijal, former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, had yesterday alleged that Singh had warned him of harm if he didn’t cooperate in the 2G licensing matter. 

“A prime minister’s responsibility is to provide corruption-free governance. But during Manmohan Singh’s regime, scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore took place…The Congress can’t escape responsibility for it. If the PM didn’t enrich himself, then who was enriched,” asked Shah.

It was probably Singh’s fiercest attack on Modi since the BJP leader assumed power at the Centre in May last. “The UPA always fought corruption…,” said Singh, often accused by his detractors of not doing enough to stop the 2G Spectrum and coal allocation scams. 

Rubbishing the policy paralysis charge against the UPA, Singh claimed his government, upon exit in 2014, had posted 8.5 per cent average annual growth rate in 10 years, an all-time record. “India was the fastest growing economy after China when we demitted office,” he said.  

He blamed the BJP government for “policy paralysis” at the Centre, which had led to “sluggish investments, exports and agricultural production and rural distress”. He said even the Chief Economic Adviser and the RBI Governor had admitted to “fragile economic recovery” over the past year. He asked the Congress workers to expose "the BJP’s false talk against the UPA”. 

Hours after targeting Modi, Singh met the Prime Minister at his 7 Race Course Road residence. The former PM's office said Modi had invited his predecessor for the meeting, which took place at 6.30 pm. "They discussed the country's economic situation and foreign policy issues," the statement said.

Cong distances itself from Singh’s self-defence

The Congress has distanced itself from Singh's ‘self-defence’. Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad said, “The so-called UPA scams were based on CAG reports. If the BJP believes those, why does it disown the CAG report that says Modi as Gujarat CM benefitted industrialist Gautam Adani to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore, and another that speaks about the corrupt dealings of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's firms?"

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