As LK Advani came under intense attack from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over his conduct as Home Minister during the Kandahar hijack 10 years ago, the BJP retorted by circulating a statement by Home Minister P Chidambaram on the infamous episode.
Instead of criticising the NDA government for trading off terrorists for passengers of IC-814, said party spokesman Siddharth Nath Singh, it’s better the Congress sees the incident from its own minister’s perspective. “Our answer lies buried in his statement.”
“Chidambaram had rightly stated at an award function of NDTV in January that it would have been a very difficult decision for any government in the situation...to demand release of three terrorists.”
Singh distributed copies of Chidambaram’s remarks in which he had said: “I do not know how I would have reacted if 150 families came to my door and pleaded that their loved ones in that aircraft must be saved. It is easy to criticise but if one is in that position, it is a very difficult decision.”
Turning his focus to the Prime Minister, the BJP spokesman said Manmohan Singh was asserting now that he had been ready to quit if the nuclear deal had fallen through, but he had told the HT Leadership Summit in 2007 that “if the deal does not come through, it will be disappointing...but in life, one has to live with certain disappointments and move on the next...we have a lot of unfinished business to complete...ours is not a one-issue government.”
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said the attacks by the PM, Sonia and Rahul only showed that “our strategy of focusing the campaign on a weak leader is already paying dividends...Manmohan Singh is now everyday asserting that he is not a weak leader, forgetting his own agenda and responding to our agenda.”
The PM had not spoken a word about his achievements. said Jaitley.
On Priyanka Gandhi’s remarks on Rahul, he said: “She is only adding triviality to the campaign by talking about his PM-like qualities and wishing he finds someone to marry soon. This is just adding Page 3 to the campaign.”