PMs in tete-a-tete after war of words
He chose the forum of the students’ wing of his party on Wednesday to launch a frontal attack on the Narendra Modi Government, which completed a year in office earlier this week. Adding spice to the day-long proceedings, PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening posted a photo of his predecessor visiting him at his 7 Race Course Road residence on Wednesday evening on the micro-blogging site twitter.
Prime Minister Modi commented on the aforementioned photo on twitter saying, Very happy to meet Dr. Manmohan Singh ji & welcome him back to 7RCR. We had a great meeting.”
In a statement, Singh’s office said the former Prime Minister met Modi at the latter’s “invitation” and “they discussed the economic situation in the country and foreign policy issues.”
Sources close to Singh said that Modi had sent a message on Tuesday morning, expressing desire to meet his predecessor over tea sometime in the evening on Tuesday. This could not fructify and the meeting was scheduled for this evening.
<g data-gr-id="49">Incidentally</g> the exchange of pleasantries came soon after BJP president Amit Shah had commented on Singh saying, “Dr Singh’s statement on corruption shirked accountability. I accept the (former) PM was not corrupt, but it was his job to ensure the same of his ministers.”
The former Prime Minister earlier in the day said that he did not misuse his office to enrich either himself, his family or friends. Speaking at National Students Union of India, NSUI convention here, Dr Singh said UPA has been fighting corruption, and will continue without any compromise. He said he is proud of UPA government’s achievements and entire Congress is working for the welfare of the
The current Prime Minister, however, did not paint a very favourable picture of his predecessor in an interview given to news agency PTI. He accused, albeit indirectly, of allowing intervention and influence by extra-constitutional persons in the functioning of the government. Targeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi alongside Singh, Modi suggested that she had been an “unconstitutional” authority exercising “real” power over the PMO during the UPA rule whereas power was now wielded only by constitutional means.
Sonia had earlier charged Narendra Modi of concentrating all the powers of governance in himself and Prime Minister’s office. Dismissing the Congress president’s accusation that NDA government was showing “obstinate arrogance” in Parliament and that it was a government by “one person”, Modi said, “Perhaps, she is referring to the fact that earlier extra-constitutional authorities were the ones really wielding power.”
On Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s jibe suit-boot ki sarkar, Modi said, Congress has not been able to digest its crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls even after a year. Referring to criticism on his foreign tours, he said, opposition’s charges were baseless.
Singh on the other hand, as if on a cue, blamed the NDA government of harping on the issue of corruption to divert public attention to non-issues. He was referring to commotion caused by the allegations leveled by the former telecom regulator Anil Baijal that Singh wanted him to “cooperate” with Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in alleged acts of omissions and corruptions.
<g data-gr-id="58">Retorting</g> to the allegation of using the issues of corruption to cover-up for non-performance, an official statement issued by the BJP said, “Dr Singh has broken his silence in self-defence as agencies like <g data-gr-id="56">CAG,CBI</g> and a recent publication revealed series of scams which had happened during the UPA regime.”