New Delhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was “deeply pained and anguished” by the “falsehood and canards” being spread by “none less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The unprecedented war of words between Modi and his predecessor broke out just ahead of voting in Gujarat.Calling upon PM Modi to apologise to the nation for his “ill-thought transgression and restore the dignity of the office he occupies”, Singh said: “I sincerely hope that Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds instead of concentrating his energy solely on erroneously conceived brownie points.
“Singh was responding to Modi’s allegation that Congress leaders and Pakistani guests discussed the Gujarat election at the dinner and Pakistan was trying to interfere in the election.In an uncharacteristically sharp retort, Singh said: “Sadly and regrettably, Mr Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a former Prime Minister and Army Chief.
“The former Prime Minister dismissed the innuendos and falsehoods.”I did not discuss Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Mani Shankar Aiyar as alleged by Shri Modi.
Nor was the Gujarat issue raised by anyone else present at the dinner. The discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations,” Dr Singh said.The Congress party, he stressed, “needs no sermons on nationalism from a party and Prime Minister whose compromised track record on fighting terrorism is well known… Let me remind Narendra Modi that he had gone to Pakistan uninvited after the terrorist attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur.
Let him also tell the country the reason for inviting the infamous ISI of Pakistan to our strategic Air base in Pathankot to investigate a terror attack that emanated from Pakistan.