Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind about "threatening language" used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Hubballi during the Karnataka Assembly elections.
The two-page letter has been signed by senior Congress leaders - Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former finance minister P Chidambaram, Motilal Vora, Mallikarjun Kharge, Karan Singh, Mukul Wasnik, Kamal Nath, Ambika Soni, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh and others.
In the letter, Manmohan Singh has asked President Kovind to caution the PM from using unwarranted , threatening and intimidating language against the leaders of the Congress Party or any other party of person as it does not behove position of the PM.
"It is unthinkable that in our democratic polity, the Prime Minister as head of the government would utter words which are threatening, intimidating in content and a public warning to the leaders of members of the main opposition party, the Congress," the letter said.
"The threat held out by the Prime Minister to the Congress leadership deserves to be condemned," said the letter signed by several Congress leaders.
The prime minister, it stated, is not expected to use menacing language even in the course of an election campaign. This is tantamount to a prime minister using his powers and privileges to "settle personal and political scores", the letter said.
Referring to the oath of office, it said the prime minister of India holds a very special position under the Constitution.
The Congress leaders said all prime ministers of India in the past have maintained immense dignity and decorum in the discharge of public or private functions/actions.
"The threat held out by the Prime Minister to the INC's leadership deserves to be condemned. This cannot be the language of the Prime Minister of a constitutionally governed democratic country of 1.3 Billion people.
"Such discourse whether in public or private is unacceptable conduct. The words used are menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of the peace," the Congress leaders added.
They said the Congress is the oldest party in India and has faced many challenges and threats, even as its leadership has exhibited courage and fearlessness in facing them.
"We would like to state that neither the party nor our leaders will be cowed down by such threats," they said.
According to the letter, the president of India is the constitutional head of the Union of India and enjoys high duty and obligation to advise and guide the prime minister and his cabinet.
Modi issued a stern warning to Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to be prepared for dire consequences.
While speaking at an election rally in Hubli on May 7 the prime minister warned the Congress leaders not to cross the limits of public decorum or else they would have to pay for it.