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Manmohan urges Prez Kovind to caution Modi over use of threatening language

Agencies/New Delhi 14 May 18 | 10:39 PM

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh exchange greetings during a ceremony to pay respects for the martyrs of 2001 Parliament attack, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

Taking strong objection over the "unwarranted, threatening and intimidating" language by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind to "caution" Modi against using "aggressive language" against anyone. 

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In the letter written on May 13 and released to the media on Monday, Congress leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, referred to Modi's speech in Hubli during the Karnataka Assembly election campaign in which he had warned the Congress against crossing boundaries.

In his speech on May 6, Modi had said: "Congress leaders, listen with your ears open, if you cross boundaries, then this is Modi, you will have to pay for it."

In a letter to the President, Congress party said the "threat" by PM Modi to its leaders during Karnataka election 2018 campaign needs to be condemned as it does not suit a person holding the position of prime minister to utter such words. Congress said that the words used by Modi were "menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of peace."

"Hon'ble President may caution the Prime Minister from using such unwarranted, threatening and intimidating language against leaders of the Congress or any other party or person as it does not behove the position of the Prime Minister," the letter said.

The Congress leaders said all the prime ministers of India in the past have maintained immense dignity and decorum in discharging of public or private functions and actions.

"The threat held out by the prime minister to the INC's leadership deserves to be condemned. This cannot be the language of a prime minister of a constitutionally governed democratic country of 1.3 billion people. Such discourse, whether in public or private is unacceptable conduct," the letter added.

"The words used are menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of the peace," Manmohan Singh and other leaders said in the letter.

The Congress leaders said that the President as the constitutional head of the union enjoys high duty and obligation to advise and guide the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

The Congress party said it would not be cowed down by such threats.

The letter to Ram Nath Kovind was written by Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leaders A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, Karan Singh, Ambika Soni, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma, Motilal Vora, Digvijay Singh and Mukul Wasnik.

With inputs from news agencies

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