Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that he had used a 'harsh word' when he predicted in 2014 that Narendra Modi would be a 'disaster' as Prime Minister and did not want to repeat it, but people would soon get a chance to give their verdict on this government’s performance.
Asked if after four-and-a-half years, he stood by the prediction made at his last news conference, he said, I did say Modi will be a disaster as the Prime Minister. Now I recognise I used a harsh word I should not have used. I don’t want to repeat it. But time is not far off when public at large would have the chance to pronounce on the efficacy or otherwise of public policy which has been put in place by Modiji.”
Before taking questions, he had castigated the Modi government for failing to deliver on its promises to create jobs and bring back black money and had flagged farmer distress and rising prices.
'National security is imperilled, our women are unsafe, marginalised and weaker sections are facing widespread persecution,' he said.
He described demonetisation as a dubious scheme to turn black money into white and repeated that it was 'organised loot and legalised plunder'. Corruption was peaking under Modi, he said, adding: 'The Rafale deal needs a thorough investigation.'
'My respectful view is that Modiji is not using the post of Prime Minister properly. It doesn’t behove the Prime Minister to abuse Opposition leaders in the manner he does,' he said. 'PM ko shobha nahin deta Opposition se gali-galau.'
The Prime Minister panicked and removed the CBI director in the middle of the night because he knows he would be finished the moment an investigation into the Rafale deal starts, Mr. Rahul Gandhi said.
'Narendra Modi pakda jayega…. Aap chhup sakte ho, aap jitna chhupna chahte ho, chhupo, aap jitna daurna chahte ho, dauro, ant mein pakde jaoge (Narendra Modi will be caught…. You can hide. If you want to hide, hide. If you want to run, run. But in the end, you will be caught),”' he said.
The CBI director can be removed or appointed only by a three-member committee that includes the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the leader of the Opposition, Mr. Rahul stressed. But the Prime Minister unilaterally removed the CBI chief at 2 in the night.
'This is an insult to the Constitution of India, it is illegal, it is an insult to the Chief Justice of India, and it is an insult to the Leader of Opposition of India, an insult to the Indian people. Apart from being an insult, this is illegal, this is criminal.'
Why at 2 in the night, Rahul asked, and not at 9, 10 or 11 in the morning.
And if the investigation was done, the whole country would know that Modi had been corrupt, that he taken Rs 30,000 crore of public money and put it in the pocket of Anil Ambani, Mr. Rahul alleged.
'The Prime Minister’s image was that of a chowkidar. Now he knows he has indulged in corruption. The Prime Minister knows that the day the CBI starts an investigation, the Prime Minister will be finished. Khatm ho jayenge. So this reaction of the Prime Minister is a panic reaction. It is reaction out of fear. It is actually irrational, but he is scared that he is getting caught,” the Congress president said.