Manmohan Singh, a Rajya Sabha member and one of the Congress's top leaders, turns 87 today. The renowned economist, credited with bringing in sweeping reforms in the 1990s, was Prime Minister for 10 years until the Congress was decimated by the BJP in 2014 and PM Modi took power for the first time.
In 2004, he became Prime Minister after Sonia Gandhi refused to take the top post following the Congress's election win. Towards the end of his second term, the Congress government battled allegations of corruption and an economic slowdown.
It may be an irony that during the UPA era, the BJP constantly accused the then PM Manmohan Singh of keeping silent even as allegations of scams broke one after another.
Here’s a look at the instances when Manmohan Singh slammed the government and demanded Modi must speak:
1. Slams Modi government for economic slowdown
Days after the finance ministry reported contraction in the GDP growth, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on September 1, 2019 slammed the Narendra Modi government blaming its policies for the economic slowdown in the country.
"India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate, but the all-round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown," said Singh, who is also an eminent economist.
2. Manmohan Singh hits out at PM Modi for his silence over the Kathua rape case and Unnao rape case:
In 2018, Manmohan Singh hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his long silence over the Kathua rape case and Unnao rape case. Reminiscing about the criticism, Manmohan Singh hit back and said in an exclusive interview to Indian Express, "I think the Prime Minister should follow his own advice to me and he should speak more often. Through press (reports) I know that he used to criticize me for not speaking up. I feel that the advice that he used to give me, he should follow it himself.”
3. Manmohan Singh's sharpest attacks on Narendra Modi:
In one of his sharpest attacks yet 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. 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.
4. Manmohan Singh Slams Modi On Note Ban, Says Worse Is Yet To Come
In 2017, Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Former PM Manmohan Singh said former’s propaganda of national income going up in the last two years has been proven to be hollow. He further added that demonetisation has hurt the country badly and things have gone from bad to worse in the past few months. "Demonatisation has hurt the country hard. Things have gone bad in the last two months, but worse is yet to come," he said. "The beginning of the end has come", Singh said, adding that "Modi's propaganda to reflect wrong figures has failed". "Modi's propaganda that the national income of India in the last two years has gone up, has failed... The 7.6% growth rate of country has come to 7% in only a few months as a consequence of steep fall in the GDP of the country," Singh said.
5. 'Time to change Modi govt will come soon', Manmohan Singh hits out at Modi government
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 10, 2018, lashed out at the PM Modi-led government, saying that it has done a lot which is not in the interest of the nation and has now crossed all the limits. Addressing supporters at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, Manmohan Singh said; "Modi government has done a number of things that were not in the interest of the nation. The time to change this government will come soon".