National security has become a central plank of the BJP aim this election and the party’s leaders have often drawn comparisons between current Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessors. Modi, they claim, has been tougher than most. That’s not true, his predecessor Manmohan Singh said in a rare interview as he defended his own record and said that Modi didn’t come anywhere close to either Indira Gandhi or even Lal Bahadur Shastri.
“There cannot be any comparison between their greatness and the pettiness of the present regime. These leaders were appreciated for their towering diplomatic roles and for spearheading the reshaping the geography of the region,” he said.
Dr Singh’s remarks come after senior BJP leaders have attacked him for being ineffectual as a Prime Minister in his response to terror attacks. While BJP president Amit Shah said that Singh didn’t respond when our soldiers were attacked by militants from across the border, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India failed to give a fitting response to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
“I disagree with the insinuation that we were not ready with military punitive actions. However, different geopolitical conditions require different responses. Our response was to isolate and diplomatically expose Pakistan as a terror hub, besides rallying the international community for decisive action against terrorists. We succeeded too. Within 14 days of the Mumbai Attack, we got China to agree to declare Hafiz Saeed as a global terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of UN.”