PM Should Find 'More Dignified' Ways Of Seeking Votes, Says Manmohan Singh

| December 3 , 2017 , 08:22 IST

In the wake of the Gujarat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conducting extensive campaigning in his home state on behalf of the BJP, drawing ire from Opposition over his in-depth involvement in a state election while being the Prime Minister of the nation.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday slammed PM Modi for his campaigning tactics.  

"I wish the prime minister would find more dignified ways of impressing upon the crowds and seeking their votes...," Dr. Singh said.

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Addressing members of a local business community in Surat, Dr. Singh described the toll demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) took on the businessmen.

"Just as you were recovering from one blow (of demonetisation), came the GST. Nobody consulted you or tried to understand how your business works," he said.

"The prime minister is from Gujarat, and he claims to understand Gujarat and the poor more than anyone else. How is it that he never understood the pains his decisions will unleash on you?" Dr. Singh asked.

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"Your business works on trust and relationships. Without trust in each other, Surat will collapse. You extended this trust to the prime minister and his promise of 'acchhe din' (good days). The hope symbolised in those dreams now lies shattered," he said.

China benefited from demonetisation and GST, said Dr Singh.

"In FY 2016-17, India's imports from China stood at Rs. 1.96 lakh crore. During the same period in FY 2017-18, the imports from China increased to Rs. 2.41 lakh crore. This unprecedented increase in imports by more than Rs. 45,000 crore, a 23 percent increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetisation and GST," he said.

Dr. Singh added that on every social indicator, from infant and maternal mortality rates to female literacy, Gujarat has fallen behind the best performing states, which include Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.