Launching a scathing attack on Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his successor's rule has not been good for India as he "failed" the electorate and led a government that was "mostly silent" on incidents of communal violence, mob lynching and cow vigilantism.
"He (Modi) has spoken of being a prime minister for all Indians but the government he presides over has been mostly silent in the face of widespread communal violence, mob lynching and cow vigilantism,” Singh said while speaking at the launch of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's new book "The Paradoxical Prime Minister: Narendra Modi and His India".
"At the same time, academic freedoms are being sought to be curbed. The environment in our universities and national institutions like the CBI is being vitiated and dissent stifled," Singh alleged.
Singh also alleged under the present dispensation the environment in universities and national institutions like the CBI was being vitiated and dissent stifled.Singh, in his speech, also came down hard on the government's economic policies, saying nothing concrete had been done to bring back the "promised billions of dollars" allegedly held abroad as black money.
The Congress on Friday took out nationwide protest marches to CBI offices accusing the government of trying to 'cage the CBI', as the party president Rahul Gandhi, along with several others, courted arrest and alleged "every institution was being ruined" in the country.
While Rahul Gandhi led hundreds of Congress workers and leaders on their protest march here, he was also joined by leaders from some other opposition parties, including from the CPI, Trinamool Congress and Loktantrik Janata Dal. Similar marches were taken out by the Congress in Patna, Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh and Hyderabad, among other cities
The "hastily-implemented" demonetisation and GST have proved to be "disastrous" for the economy, the former prime minister said. Petrol and diesel prices are at a "historic high" despite the fall in international crude oil prices because the Modi government chose to levy excessive excise duties instead of passing the benefits of low prices to the people of India, he said, adding that Modi, instead, has thought it fit to "punish our people".
Also present on the occasion, former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said: "We have the most 'credible bureau of investigation' (CBI) and we have the most enlightened directorate, ED. Who am I to comment on that. I am one of their favourite...This is again an example of how institutions are being destroyed."
(With PTI inputs)