The Congress party has sent a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to “guide” Prime Minister Narendra Modi “and his cabinet” on the language they use in public forum.
Referring to the PM’s speeches during the campaigning for Karnataka elections, the letter signed by a number of senior Congress leaders said Modi should be cautioned against using “unwarranted, threatening and intimidating” language against the leaders of Congress or any other party as it did not behove the position of PM.
Prominent among the signatories are Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Khadge, Ambika Soni and Mukul Wasnik, among others.
Quoting the oath of office administered to the PM, the letter said Modi failed to maintain the dignity and decorum “in discharge of public or private functions/actions”.
“No PM has stooped so low & brought the office of Prime Minister into disrepute as Modi ji has continuously done…,” Congress spokesperson Ranjeeb Singh Surjewala said in a tweet, attaching a copy of the letter sent to the President.
PM Modi’s unbecoming conduct & threatening language deserves severe condemnation. No PM has stooped so low & brought the office of Prime Minister into disrepute as Modi ji has continuously done.
Former PM,Dr Manmohan Singh & Senior Congress leaders write to Rashtrapati ji. pic.twitter.com/E7kWPclL0B
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 14, 2018
“It is unthinkable that in our democratic polity, the Prime Minister as the Head of the Government would utter words which are threatening, intimidating in content and a public warning to the leaders and members of main opposition party i.e. Indian National Congress,” said the letter.
Adding the YouTube video link of a speech delivered by Modi in Hubli (Karnataka) on May 6, 2018, the Congress letter said the PM issued a threat to the Congress. The speech in question was in Hindi and Modi apparently warned the Congress against “crossing their limits”.
Here is a link to the video.
“The threat held out by the Prime Minister to the INC’s leadership deserves to be condemned,” said the letter, adding: “This cannot be the language of a constitutionally governed democratic country of 1.3 billion people.”
The Congress said the words used were menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of peace.
“The President of India as the constitutional head of the Union of India enjoys high duty and obligation to advise a guide the Prime Minister and his cabinet,” said the letter.
The party said the PM was not expected to use menacing language even I the course of election campaign, “which tantamount to using his powers and privileges as the Prime Minister to settle personal and political scores”.
The letter, however, said the oldest political party in India had faced many challenges and threats before, and would not be “cowed down”.