'Does Cong's post-Bofors defeat make Rajiv guilty?' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Does Cong's post-Bofors defeat make Rajiv guilty?'

delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2011 23:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the people's verdict in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls had rubbished the cash-for-votes charges, senior BJP leader LK Advani asked the Congress whether it would - by the same logic - consider Rajiv Gandhi guilty because the party had lost the polls after the Bofors charges.

"All political analysts will readily accept that the core issue in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections in which Rajiv Gandhi lost to Vishwanath Pratap Singh was the Bofors Guns scandal," Advani recalled.

"And no one can forget that Rajiv Gandhi, who in 1984, had secured an all-time record of 415 seats slumped to just 197 in 1989, which is less than half!"

The PM on Friday had said in Parliament: "In (that) general election, the Opposition parties repeated their allegations of bribery in the trust vote. How did the people respond to those allegations? … It was rejected by the people, but it is unfortunate the Opposition continues to raise old charges that have been debated, discussed."

Advani said the leaked US diplomatic cables' revelations - published by a newspaper -have undermined the PM's position in national politics.

The BJP leader commended Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley for their pointed attacks on the government after the reports. He also quoted former colleague Jaswant Singh's recent speech in Parliament about US influence on India's foreign policy.

Ironically, Advani mentioned this on a day when new revelations suggest he had assured a US diplomat in 2009 that the BJP would not reconsider the nuclear deal if it came to power, despite its stand against it in Parliament.

"Whether it is Pakistan or Afghanistan, our policy is no longer ours," he quoted Jaswant Singh as saying.

"I appeal to you not to bank on the US because we will find an answer left to ourselves. But you will never find an answer if you try and find answers through the US."