Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday lashed out at former prime minister Manmohan Singh over the latter’s statement that he wasn’t a PM who was afraid of talking to press. Speaking to mediapersons, Naqvi said that while the veteran Congress leader talked on someone else’s script, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “doesn’t need a prompter or a director”.
“He is a senior leader and a former Prime Minister. When he was the Prime Minister he used to talk on someone’s order and script, even now he is doing the same. He should realise that Prime Minister Modi doesn't need prompter, script or a director,” said the Minority Affairs minister.
Speaking at the launch of his book ‘Changing India’ on Tuesday, former prime minister Manmohan Singh had taken a dig at Prime Minister Modi, saying that he was not a PM who was afraid to talk to the press.
“People say I was a silent Prime Minister. I think these volumes (his book 'Changing India') speak for themselves. I wasn't the PM who was afraid of talking to the press. I met press regularly and on every foreign trip I undertook, I had a press conference on return,” Singh had said.
Referring to an event of 2005, the veteran Congress leader said that during a visit to Washington, he was advised by officials to not address a press conference organised by National Press Club. According to Singh, though the officials were "nervous" about the press meet, it turned out to be successful. The record of the event has been detailed in the former prime minister's book.
Manmohan Singh has often been critical of the function of Prime Minister Modi and his various measures like demonetisation and GST implementation.
At an event in November, Singh had said that Modi should exercise restraint when he visits states not ruled by his party and set an example with his conduct which should be consistent with his obligations as the PM.
"My advice to the prime minister is that he should exercise due restraint becoming of the office of the prime minister," the former prime minister had said.