Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday again accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading "falsehood and canards" and tarnishing every constitutional office in a bid to win the Gujarat election and asked him to "apologize to the nation"."I am deeply pained and anguished by the falsehood and canards being spread to score political points in a lost cause by none less than ... Modi," the Congress leader said in a video release in a repeat of his Monday statement. Manmohan Singh said the Congress needed no sermons on nationalism from the Bharatiya Janata Party and a Prime Minister whose "compromised track record in fighting terrorism is well known".Reading out his hard-hitting statement of December 11, Manmohan Singh again denied Modi's charge that he and others, including former Vice President Hamid Ansari and former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, discussed the Gujarat election with Pakistani diplomats at a dinner at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's residence.Manmohan Singh said it was also "wrong and unfair" to question the nationalism of journalists, diplomats and public servants who attended the dinner.
"Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of the Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable."Sadly and regrettably, Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a former Prime Minister and Army chief."Modi alleged at a rally in Gujarat that guests at Aiyar's house discussed the Assembly election with Pakistan's High Commissioner to India and former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri. "I reject the innuendos and falsehoods as I did not discuss the Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Aiyar, as alleged by Modi. Nor was the Gujarat issue rsed by anyone else present at the dinner," Manmohan Singh said."The discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations," he added."Let me remind Modi that he had gone to Pakistan uninvited after the terrorist attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur. "Let him also tell the country the reason for inviting the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan to our strategic air base in Pathankot (in Punjab) to investigate terror attack that emanated from Pakistan."
He said: "My track record of public service to the country over the last five decades is known to everyone. No one, including Modi, can lamely question it to gain lost political ground."Manmohan Singh went on: "I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds, instead of concentrating his energy solely on scoring erroneously conceived brownie points."I sincerely hope that he will apologize to the nation for his ill-thought transgression (so as) to restore the dignity of the office he occupies."