Press Trust of india

BJP mismanaged J&K like never before: Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, Mar 18: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today launched an all-out attack on the Modi government, saying that while it had “messed up” the economy, it was spouting “jumla” (rhetoric) with pipe-dreams about generating 2 crore jobs and doubling farm incomes.

Addressing the 84th Congress plenary session here, he also accused the BJP-led government of having “mismanaged” the dispute in Jammu and Kashmir and said the government’s talk of fighting two and a half wars was “yet another hollow promise”.

From foreign policy and defence to the economy, the former prime minister spoke on a range of issues, alleging that there were many issues on the foreign policy front that had been poorly handled by the Modi government.

“We also must recognise that the Modi government has mismanaged the Jammu and Kashmir problem as never before,” he said.

He said the two wings of the government in the state were working against each other and the atmosphere was “deteriorating day in and day out”.

“That is obvious from the fact that our borders are not secure, whether it is cross-border terrorism or internal terrorism, internal insurgency. There are today issues which are a source of great worry to all our citizens,” he said.

The Modi government, he said, possibly feels that these issues will get sorted out on their own. “That’s not going to happen,” he added.

Noting that Jammu and Kashmir was an “integral part of India”, he said the country needed to recognise the state’s special problems and “we must deal with those problems with all seriousness”.

Highlighting issues that had come up between India and its neighbours under the Modi dispensation, the former prime minister said it was the task of the country to create pathways for an “environment of support, friendship and moving ahead together”.

The Congress moved in that direction, he said, whether it was with Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, or countries such as China.

“These problems are to be sorted out peacefully and not in an atmosphere of hostility and shouting at each other,” he said.

On Pakistan, Singh said India must recognise it as a neighbour but expressed concern over Islamabad’s support to “cross-border terrorism”.

“That certainly is not acceptable to us. We must, therefore, warn Pakistan that this is a path which is mutually destructive for peace and prosperity in the sub-continent,” he said.

“It is as much in the interest of Pakistan as in the interest of India that our two countries must sort out all problems sitting together peacefully and give up this path of support of terrorist elements emanating from across the border,” he noted.

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