Sonia describes Manmohan as ‘epitome of integrity’, draws comparisons b/w him & Modi

New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) Chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party Sonia Gandhi on Monday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi when she drew comparisons between his tenure as PM and the tenure of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Speaking at a ceremony to confer the Indira Gandhi prize for peace, disarmament and development for 2017 to Dr Manmohan Singh, Mrs Gandhi, in an apparent jibe at PM Modi, said,’’ What more can I say about Dr. Manmohan Singh that all of you do not know already? His demeanour is such that it appears that he was born wise.

He is the very epitome of integrity, humility, sagacity and gravitas. Not for him tall claims. Not for him empty and fanciful boasts.

Not for him self-promoting bombast. Not for him falsifications of facts and history. Not for him the language of abuse and vitriol. ‘’

Lauding Dr Singh, she said,’’ he wears his learning lightly. He inspires trust. His decade-long Prime Ministerial tenure saw India record its highest economic growth rate ever and also saw the implementation of several rights-based legislations that gave deeper social meaning and significance to economic growth.

Dr. Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister at a time when the country was on edge, when its collective nerves were frayed and when its secular fabric was under assault. Within months his persona and policies had a profound calming effect.

The country once again had the assurance that the man at the very top was not a divisive person, that no group or individual need feel insecure. Over his tenure, he earned for India enhanced respect across the globe — not by seeking credit or kudos but by allowing his work to speak for itself.’’

Recalling Dr Manmohan Singh’s association with Mrs Indira Gandhi, Mrs Sonia Gandhi said,’’ Today, we honour a man who worked very closely with her for almost a decade and a half, a man who was an Advisor on economic matters, to whom she turned to instinctively when the economy faced severe crises in the mid-seventies and early-eighties. Dr. Manmohan Singh went on to greater heights in the years to come. But it would not be an exaggeration to say that the foundations of his later success were laid in the Indira Gandhi years in the Ministries of Commerce and Finance, the Planning Commission and the Reserve Bank of India.’’

She hoped that the country would continue to get the benefit of Singh’s sage advise in the days to come.

‘’To say that Dr. Manmohan Singh richly deserves this accolade, the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, is to make an understatement. I am sure I speak for us all when I express the hope that we will continue to get the benefit of his sage counsel and advice for many-many years to come,’’Mrs Gandhi said.

Remembering the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, she said,’’ thirty-four years ago after she laid down her life in defense of national integration and secularism, Indira Gandhi continues to be a compelling personality. She is still remembered for her indomitable courage and her fierce commitment to India, our country founded on unity, not uniformity, rooted in inclusion, not exclusion, and sustained by harmony, not hate. Her contributions to the shaping of its history and the geography of our region are enduring. She gave new hope to the aspirations of the weaker sections of society.

Their empowerment was an article of faith for her. Even as she established India’s nuclear capabilities, she was a tireless campaigner for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Her leadership in facing military and political challenges in our neighourhood is legendary. She is forever associated with the Green Revolution that made India self-reliant in food grains.

She was an ecological visionary and she left an indelible imprint both in India and abroad. India’s highly successful space programme was launched under her inspired leadership.’’

The Insides Speak.