Former prime minister AB Vajpayee on Tuesday reacted to PM Manmohan Singh’s comment that LK Advani will need Vajpayee’s permission to topple the UPA government. The Prime Minister had taken a dig at LK Advani in Lok Sabha on Monday.
Addressing a function organised to felicitate BJP's deputy leader in Lok Sabha VK Malhotra on his turning 75, Vajpayee retorted, "The Prime Minister does not know that, since the Jan Sangh era, we have followed the principle of collective leadership, and successfully managed the NDA coalition for six years by the same principle. We decide everything collectively."
Secondly, Vajpayee said, "The PM should realise that the kind of government he leads now is slated to fall on its own because of inherent weaknesses. No one will have to work to topple it. If this is the level of his dig, what to make of his other shots?”
Intervening in a debate on the Indo-US nuclear cooperation in the Lok Sabha, the PM had targeted Advani. He had stated that through his speech Advani attempted to drive a wedge between the allies and supporters of the UPA with the hope that his government could be toppled. "I assure you, you will have to wait for a very long time and for that you would also have to seek the permission of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee."
Vajpayee also made it clear to the BJP leaders that he was yet to call it a day and would be "around" for a long time. BJP leaders said Vajpayee's remarks were significant in the context of the row over who is the party's PM candidate in the next Lok Sabha polls.
"I was surprised that speakers at the BJP meet on Tuesday kept saying that it was the ‘last day’ when it was the last day of Parliament’s winter session. Well, our last day is yet to come. When it does, that day would be the day of great national reckoning."