Manmohan Singh pens letter to President on PM Modi’s threat to Cong leaders

coastaldigest.com web desk
May 14, 2018

New Delhi, May 14: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind in which he has condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'threat' to the Indian National Congress (INC) during a speech in Hubli, Karnataka.

Singh said Prime Minister Modi was "using his powers and privileges as Prime Minister to settle personal and political scores" during the Karnataka elections.

On May 6, Prime Minister Modi in a public rally in Hubli said: "Congress ke neta kan khol karke sun lijiye, agar seemao ko paar karoge, to ye Modi hai, lene ke dene pad jayenge (Congress leaders listen to me while having your ears wide open. If you cross limits, I am Modi, you will have to pay consequences.)"

Dr Singh said Prime Minister Modi's words were "menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of peace".

"We would like to state that neither the party nor our leaders will be cowed down by such threats," Singh added.

Throughout the letter, Singh asked the President to "caution" Prime Minister Modi against using "unwarranted, threatening and intimidating language" against anyone.

Apart from Singh, the letter was signed by Leaders of Opposition of both houses of Parliament and senior Congress leaders like P. Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Motilal Vora, Kamal Nath and Ahmed Patel.

Here's the full text of the letter:

Respected Rashtrapati ji,

The Prime Minister of India holds a very special position under the Constitution of India. He heads the Union Cabinet to which the Union Executive reports and takes orders. On assumption of the office of the Prime Minister, the following oath of the office is administered:

"I, ___, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as the Prime Minister for the Union and that I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. I will not directly or indirectly affirm, communicate or reveal to any person or persons any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as the Prime Minister for the Union except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such Minister."

In the past, all Prime Ministers of India have maintained immense dignity and decorum in discharge of public or private functions/actions. It is unthinkable that in our democratic polity, the Prime Minister as Head of the Government would utter words which are threatening, intimidating in content and a public warning to the leaders and members of main opposition party i.e. Indian National Congress.

The Prime Minister on 06th May 2018 at Hubli in Karnataka in his public speech delivered the following address (In Hindi): Video Link: youtube.com/watch?v=7rRpte2qChk

The threat held by the Prime Minister to the INC's leadership deserves to be condemned. This cannot be the language of the Prime Minister of a constitutionally governed country of 1.3 Billion people. Such discourse whether in public or private is unacceptable conduct. The words used are menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of the peace. The Congress Party is the oldest party in India and has faced many challenges and threats. The Congress leadership has always exhibited courage and fearlessness in facing threat and challenges. We would like to state that neither the party nor our leaders will be cowed down by such threats.

The President of India as the constitutional head of the Union of India enjoys high duty and obligation to advise and guide the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Admittedly, the Prime Minister is not expected to use menacing language even in the course of election campaign which tantamounts to using his powers and privileges as the Prime Minister to settle personal and political scores.

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

With Regards

(Signatures of Congress leaders including Manmohan Singh)

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Agencies
August 12,2022

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New York, Aug 12: Controversial author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck at an event in New York, US, on Friday. Details were scarce about his condition and the attacker, who has been detained. The 75-year-old author's writings have in the past led to threats.

The New York State Police confirmed the stabbing and said he was taken to an area hospital by helicopter. The attacker is in custody, police said. Social media posts showed people rushing to his aid on stage at Chautauqua Institution, about 100 km from the city. A person interviewing him suffered minor head injuries in the attack. 

Mr Rushdie fell to the floor immediately after the attack, and the attacker was restrained. A small group of people surrounded the author, holding up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest, AP reported. Hundreds of people in the audience gasped at the sight of the attack and were then evacuated.

Rabbi Charles Savenor, who was in the audience, told AP: "This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr Rushdie. At first you're like, ‘What's going on?' And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten." He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds. 

The attack happened around 11 am local time (8.30 pm IST) as Mr Rushdie was being introduced before he was to speak. The Chautauqua Institution, located in a rural part of New York, is known for its summertime lecture series. Mr Rushdie has spoken there before.

Delhi-based British writer William Dalrymple was among the first to react, hoping that Mr Rushdie wasn't hurt. "A terrible day for literature, for freedom of speech and for authors everywhere. Poor poor Salman: I pray he's not hurt and recovers quickly," he tweeted.

Mr Rushdie, 75, faced threats particularly in the late 1980s over his book, The Satanic Verses, which is banned in Iran since 1988 as it is alleged to be blasphemous towards Islam. There was also a reward out on his head by the Iranian top leader, though by 1998 the Iranian government said it wasn't seeking to enforce that 'fatwa' or edict. It wasn't clear if the attack is linked to that.

A British citizen of Indian origin, Mr Rushdie has lived in the US for the past 20 years. After the controversy over his fourth book, The Satanic Verses (1988), he remained out of the public eye, mostly living in the UK. Despite the threats, he produced several novels throughout the 1990s.

His first novel came out in 1975, but one of his seminal works is about modern India, Midnight's Children (1981), for which he won the Booker Prize. 

In 2007, he was knighted — given the ceremonial title of 'Sir' — by Queen Elizabeth II for services to literature. He has produced over a dozen works, including non-fiction.

In 2012, after an Iranian religious outfit renewed the bounty on him, he dismissed that threat, saying there was "no evidence" of people being interested in the reward, said the AP report. That year, he published a memoir, Joseph Anton, about the fatwa. The title came from the pseudonym he had used while in hiding.

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News Network
August 15,2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 15: Amid controversy over excluding first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the Karnataka government’s newspaper advertisement on freedom fighters, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday took a dig at the Congress and said he is proud of the RSS’ ideals and bowed his head to its patriotism.

Clarifying that he and his government respects Nehru, using whose name Congress ruled the country for 65 years, he said and accused the grand old party of neglecting other national icons like B R Ambedkar and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

“In the government’s advertisement yesterday, we had mentioned about some freedom fighters, who were even never heard of before with their photos, no one spoke good about it, instead of it, they (Congress) are sad that one of their leader’s names was missing,” Bommai said.

Speaking at a BJP event to commemorate 75th anniversary of India’s independence, he said, “We haven’t forgotten him and his works. We have respect for Nehru. In fact, there is a picture of him in that ad.” “Someone said, Bommai has become an RSS slave, I want to tell that I bow down my head to its (RSS) ideals and principles and that patriotism. I’m committed to build the country on those ideals and principles and I’m proud of it,” he said.

The Congress on Sunday took strong exception to the exclusion of Nehru in the newspaper advertisement on freedom fighters and termed the BJP government’s action “pathetic”.

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had called Bommai an “RSS slave”, while AICC general secretary and in-charge of the party affairs in the state Randeep Surjewala had said the BJP’s hatred for the country’s first prime minister had reached its zenith.

State BJP General Secretary N Ravi Kumar, had however, said Nehru’s name was omitted “intentionally”, as he was responsible for the partition of the country.

The Chief Minister further hit out at the Congress, accusing it of not allowing B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, to come to Parliament, and neglecting his memory for years.

Further pointing out that the families of several national icons like Subash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Ambedkar are today not in mainstream politics, without naming anyone, he said those people who got politically benefited because of the freedom struggle will have to answer about the ill things that exist today like- appeasement politics.

Stating that no one can change the history of the freedom struggle, Bommai said, “but those writing history have tried to change it for 75 years. Now the time has come to speak out the truth and make people know the truth. We have got freedom because of the sacrifice of thousands of unnamed youth, farmers, labourers.” This 75th anniversary of India’s Independence should be dedicated to the unnamed freedom fighters of the country, he said.

Earlier in the day, in his address at the 76th Independence Day event at the Manekshaw Parade Ground here, the Chief Minister, taking a veiled dig at the Congress, pointed out at attempts to “forget” national icons like Ambedkar, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Abdul Ghaffar Khan among others.

He also said that all Prime Ministers so far and leaders of the country have contributed to India’s progress in their own way, and there is no question of forgetting anyone.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up a Prime Ministers’ Museum in New Delhi to highlight each one’s contribution, Bommai further said “If any Prime Minister had thought about making known the contributions of various PMs to the country it is Modi. There is no question of forgetting anyone here. Everyone has contributed in their own way. Only PMs have not contributed, there are several luminaries who have contributed.”

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News Network
August 16,2022

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Shivamogga, Aug 16: The police today nabbed four persons in connection with the stabbing incident reported on August 15 after communal tension surfaced at the Ameer Ahmad circle in connection with the Savarkar and Tipu Sultan flex banner row.

Meanwhile, another stabbing incident reported at Nehrunagar in Bhadravathi town, in which a Hindu youth was stabbed by a Muslim youth, has flared up communal tension in the district. 

However, police denied any link with the Shivamogga incident and clarified that the stabbing was motivated by a personal rivalry.

According to police, Sunil (28) is the victim and Mubarak (26) stabbed him when he was heading towards home. He sustained injuries on head, shoulder. Later, Mubarak was arrested.

Reacting to the incident, SP B M Laxmi Prasad said that the incident has no link with the communal tension in Shivamogga. 

"Sunil had threatened Mubarak on August 15, saying that he would inform the police about his gambling activities after capturing recordings of the same on his cell phone. The video of Mubarak's involvement in gambling activities subsequently went viral on social media. Enraged by this, Mubarak stabbed Sunil," he said.

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