News Column

Modi Dings Singh's Indian Independence Day Speech

August 15, 2013

The leader of India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Narendra Modi, criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day speech Thursday, saying it failed to address India's concerns on Pakistan and China.

Singh's speech - the last in his present term as prime minister - largely dwelled on his government's efforts to enhance economic prosperity and improve food security, health, education and infrastructure.

On Pakistan, Singh said: "For relations with Pakistan to improve, it is essential that they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity."

Singh described a recent fatal attack on Indian soldiers in Kashmir, which India blamed on Pakistani soldiers, as a "dastardly attack." The Pakistani army has denied the charge.

"The president (of India, Pranab Mukherjee) has expressed his concern on the issue of killing of five of our soldiers," Modi said after Singh had given his address. "I had expected prime minister will raise the same concerns, but he has failed to talk tough," he said.

Modi also attacked Singh's government on corruption and said India was "restless for a change" and challenged Singh to a public debate.

Gujarat Chief Minister Modi is widely expected to be the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in general elections scheduled for 2014.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters