Under fire for not speaking enough on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday came in for a rap on his knuckles from his predecessor, Manmohan Singh. The former prime minister, who was attacked a number of times from Modi when he was in power, advised that the latter should follow his own words and “speak more often”.
In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Singh expressed his happiness that Modi finally broke his silence last Friday at an event in Delhi commemorating the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.
Asked about taunts like ‘Maun Mohan Singh’ which were used by the Opposition to criticise him, the fomer prime minister said that he “had lived with comments like these his whole life”.
“But 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,” Singh said.
The former prime minister further said that his failure to speak in time made people think that the culprits will get away without being punished. Singh further said that his government had taken strict measures in 2012 in the wake of Delhi gangrape case.
Speaking on J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti’s action in the Kathua rape case, the former PM suggested that she could have taken this case more seriously. However, he wondered that if she was under some kind of pressure from the BJP, her coalition partner in the government, especially after the two saffron party ministers had participated in a rally organised to support the accused.
Singh, a father of three daughters, said he was distressed to read reports about the brutal rape and murder of the child. He termed as ‘disgraceful’ the BJP ministers’ alleged act of giving a communal colour to the incident.