UPA believed in work rather than empty talk: Manmohan Singh

Guwahati : Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said his UPA government had always believed in work rather than empty talk and the current BJP-led government was trying to repackage the schemes of his government as their own.

Manmohan Singh said this at an election rally of the Congress in Guwahati.

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“We have also observed with dismay and trepidation that they are trying to water down some of the provisions of pro-people legislations like Food Security Act and Right to Education,” he said.

“During the election campaign of 2014, (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji spoke very eloquently about the black money kept by Indians in foreign banks. He promised that within no time of his coming to power, the money would be brought back to India and every citizen would get Rs.15 lakh in their bank accounts. But the government has failed miserably to honour its promise,” Manmohan Singh said.

“All he (Modi) achieved in these two years is that he has forced crores of people to open bank accounts. But people are asking what will they do with bank accounts when they have nothing to keep in the bank?” he said.

“His foreign trips have been projected as great achievements, though everybody knows that these have yielded nothing yet.

“The government’s policy towards Pakistan is in a shambles. Terrorists from Pakistan continue to operate freely not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Punjab and other states.

“The recent attack on the Pathankot airbase is the most recent evidence of our vulnerability,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said that on the economic front, agriculture in the last two years has been stagnant, bringing large scale distress to farmers.

“Industrial production has also been stagnant… employment shows no signs of growth. Exports have continued to decline month after month in the last 15 months. The recent incidents in Hyderabad Central University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University are indicative of the central government’s attempt to curb freedom of expression and to polarize Indian polity along communal lines,” he added.

On President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Manmohan Singh said it revealed the Modi government’s “desire to hurt democracy and promote centralisation of power, in violation of constitutional norms”.

Appreciating the Tarun Gogoi government in Assam, Manmohan Singh said Gogoi has steered the state in the last 15 years from financial mess to a height of prosperity.

“Assam is now marching ahead with its developmental goals. Recently, it was awarded by India Today as the best state in the category of infrastructure development. It is a great achievement looking at the problems that Tarun Gogoi ji had inherited from the previous government,” he added.

He said the Congress government has given the “much needed stability” to the state, and the per capita income of the people of Assam has increased manifold.

More than 25,000 km of roads and around 4,060 concrete bridges were built in the last 15 years, he said, adding that agriculture has also made tremendous strides and Assam now has become self-reliant in the production of all major food items.