Hitting back at LK Advani for levelling charges of incompetence against him, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asked the BJP leader to do some "introspection" over his role when Gujarat was burning and during the Kandahar hijack crisis.
Replying to the debate on the trust vote in the Lok Sabha, he also asked "our friends" in the Left front to ponder over the company they were forced to keep because of the "miscalculations" by "their general secretary", an apparent reference to CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat.
The prime minister tabled his speech after he started to speak amid uproarious scenes and slogan shouting by the Opposition who demanded his resignation over the bribery issue.
"Before levelling charges of incompetence on others, Advani should do some introspection. Can our nation forgive a home minister who slept when the terrorists were knocking at the doors of our Parliament?" he asked.
Singh also wanted to know whether the nation can forgive a person who "single handedly provided the inspiration for the destruction of the Babri Masjid with all the terrible consequences that followed".
Accusing Advani of making "atleast three attempts to topple his government" to fulfil his ambitions, the prime minister said "but on each occasion his (Advani's) astrologers have misled him".
Singh noted that the BJP leader had used "abusive" adjectives to describe his performance like "weakest PM", "nikamma(incompetent) PM" and of having devalued the office of PM.
In the speech which he tabled following slogan -shouting, Singh was unsparing in his criticism. "At his ripe old age, I do not expect Advani to change his thinking.
"But for his sake and India's sake, I urge him to change his astrologers so that he gets more accurate predictions of things to come", he said.
"Can a nation approve the conduct of a home minister who was sleeping while Gujarat was burning leading to the loss of thousands of innocent lives ? asked Singh.
In a no-holds barred onslaught at the beginning of his speech, the prime minister said Advani had to "atone for his sins" suddenly decided to visit Pakistan and there he discovered the "new virtues" in Jinnah.
Singh noted that Advani's own party and "his mentors" in the RSS disowned him on this issue.