THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led a "glorious" government during his 10-year stint as Prime Minister, while Prime Minister Modi just boasted about his "56-inch chest" in the last five years.
Responding to a comparison between the "Accidental" and "Paradoxical" Prime Minister, the Congress leader said, "In those 10 years in Dr Manmohan Singh's tenure, whether he came in accidentally or because of his years of experience or wisdom... I would say that Singh left us with a 10-year record of sustained economic growth, a reasonably stable economic situation despite international record high oil prices...all of these were fought for or established during those 10 years of Manmohan Singh. And he also led a decent government, there was no vainglorious, stroking about thumping of 56-inch chest... We (Congress) had 10 glorious years."
It is worth mentioning that The Accidental Prime Minister is a recently released movie based on Dr Manmohan Singh's tenure as Prime Minister, while The Paradoxical Prime Minister is a book by Tharoor based on the incumbent Prime Minister.
In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it was in Uttar Pradesh that Modi, who was the then Gujarat Chief Minister, had said that it takes a "56-inch chest" to convert Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat in terms of development.
"Look at this five years what we have. We have a government (referring to Modi government) which has caused sufferings to thousands of individuals through ill-conceived and badly implemented demonetisation. The GST created confusion. Having promised to crores jobs in a year...last year we lost 1.1 crore jobs. They not created jobs but destroyed it," he went on to say.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP cited examples of how human beings were allegedly killed in the name of cow protection and consumption of beef among others to highlight the present period.
"What can we point that was good in last five years? In the name of protecting cows, they have killed human beings, assaulted minorities. They tried to divide our people in the name of religion or caste. What can we point to that we can say with pride as the Prime Minister keeps saying that Indian passport has only acquired value after he became the Prime Minister? I asked myself what fantasy is he living," he said.