Assembly elections

Don’t want pity: Manmohan Singh refuses to ‘compete with PM’ on the basis of their humble background

The previous UPA government under ex-PM Manmohan Singh was the ‘most corrupt’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

Demonetisation was a blow to the India economy and China is benefiting from it, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Surat on Saturday. Singh was addressing entrepreneurs in the city as both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party intensified campaigning for the Gujarat elections. The former prime minister took an apparent jibe at his successor’s claim’s of a humble background.

The polls are scheduled to be held on December 9 and December 14.

“I do not want the country to take pity on me on the basis of my humble background,” Singh said. “I do not think I would like to enter in any competition with Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi Ji on this particular matter.”

Singh reiterated his criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s demonetisation decision. “Demonetisation cost us Rs 1.5 lakh crore. GDP growth rate in the first quarter fell to 5.7%,” Singh said, according to The Indian Express. Singh said small and medium enterprises suffered because of demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax. “Even if growth reaches 6.7% in 2017-18, it is still below UPA’s 10-year average of 10.6%,” he said.

Demonetisation did not achieve any of the objectives it set out to ensure, the former prime minister said. “None of the objectives of demonetisation, including curbing counterfeit money and rooting out black money, have been met. On the other hand it converted black money to white while the poor suffered,” he said.

“More than a hundred people lost their lives standing in queue after demonetisation. November 8 was a Black Day for our democracy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was also in Surat to campaign for the BJP.

The previous UPA government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the “most corrupt” and “leaderless”, Jaitley said, according to The Statesman.

“The 10 years of governance before [Narendra] Modi ji’s government was the most corrupt we have ever seen,” Jaitley said.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.