Voters in Delhi must keep in mind the track record party when the parties when choosing whom to send to the Centre. So Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seemed to be advising the public. He said Delhi voted for Congress in the assembly elections based on its performance.
“I am certain that when you vote in a few days, you would consider which party’s government has had a better record in providing stability and ensuring growth for the country and Delhi,” said the PM, speaking in Hindi at his first election rally at Hari Nagar, a Sikh majority locality.
Singh kept his speech Delhi centric, citing the many development projects here and choosing to praise chief minister Sheila Dikshit for giving the city efficient governance.
In an unusually aggressive and direct attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s repeated criticism of the UPA government’s alleged soft stance on terrorism, the PM pointed to the 1999 IC-814-Kandahar Air Hijack and the NDA government’s response to it.
“Terrorism is a major problem besetting the country. Our opposition party claims only they can counter terrorism in a decisive and strong manner. But when we look at the BJP’s record at the Centre in this context, what emerges is completely different. The BJP government took out three dreaded terrorists from Indian prisons and set them free in Afghanistan. Advaniji (BJP leader LK Advani) was the home minister in that government,” said Singh.
He added: “Attacks took place on Red Fort, Raghunath Temple and Akshardham temple. Jammu and Kashmir was attacked. Terrorists entered Kargil, but the BJP government was slumbering. Later, we could throw them out because of the sacrifice of our brave officers and jawans. This is the BJP’s record. Now you decide how decisive and strong their leaders are. You have seen how strongly we dealt with the Mumbai terror attacks,” he said.
Singh also referred to the lack of stability in neighbouring countries Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the threat posed to India’s security. “Only a national party can tackle such grave issues. We have the experience and ability,” he said. Taking a swipe at the BJP’s allegation over the government’s inaction in recovering black money kept in foreign banks, Singh said Advani had reduced the issue to an election stunt. “As far as I know, there is no institution in India or aboard that works on such estimation (black money)… Not only have the BJP and Advani reduced this to a stunt, but also have been completely irresponsible on the issue.