Bharat Bandh: Manmohan Singh accuses BJP of working against national interests; urges Opposition parties to unite, save democracy

New Delhi: Urging the opposition to unite in their shared desire to defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday hit out at the Modi government for the crises-like all-around situation in the country due to rising fuel prices and farm distress.

Manmohan Singh said the BJP-led central government had "miserably" failed in controlling fuel prices and fulfilling the promises made to the people before the 2014 elections.

File image of former prime minister Manmohan Singh. PTI

File image of former prime minister Manmohan Singh. PTI

"Circumstances show that the situation has gone beyond control now. Farmers, businessmen, youth are facing crises in their respective fields. The government has failed miserably in fulfilling the promises made to common people.

"The time has come to change the party in the Centre and this will happen very soon," he said, addressing a protest rally at the Ramlila ground here.

"The parties opposing the present government should forget their differences and come together for maintaining the unity and secular identity of the country. We need to draw the collective benefit of the unity shown (here)," he said.

The former prime minister also accused the Modi government of crossing all limits and working against the interest of the nations. "The Modi government has done a lot which is not in national interest. Now it has crossed the limit and time is coming to change it," he said.

Voices from across the country can be heard saying people are unhappy with the government, Singh said. "Time for all parties to shed their issues and move forward unitedly ... it is possible only when you keep aside your own small issues and be ready to save the unity, sovereignty and democracy in the country," he said.

The former Prime Minister along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi joined the protest march that started from Rajghat and culminated at Ramlila ground.

The march as part of a nationwide protest, or "Bharat Bandh", was led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders.

The former Prime Minister appreciated the presence of around 20 political opposition parties joining the Congress in the protest against the government.

He said it was a significant moment ahead of the general elections next year and "we should take advantage of this (unity) and bring about a movement" in the country.

The protest was called by the Congress and Left parties against the spiralling cost of petrol and diesel which have reached record levels.

The protest was supported by several opposition parties including the Janata Dal-Secular, Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Loktantrik Janata Dal, Rashtriya Lok Dal, All India United Democratic Front, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Aam Aadmi Party among others.

Follow LIVE updates on the Bharat Bandh here.

With inputs from PTI.

Updated Date: Sep 10, 2018 14:44 PM

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