Sonia Gandhi hit back at the BJP for calling Manmohan Singh a “weak Prime Minister”, saying they had insulted the nation. The Congress president, in her first response to the BJP’s repeated attack, lambasted the party and said the Congress judged the strength and weakness of a leader by his work and not merely by words.
“The Prime Minister represents the entire country and not a particular political party. Different parties project their prime ministerial candidates, but after the elections, the PM belongs to all,” she said. “The BJP has insulted the nation
by its repeated derogatory remarks against the Prime Minister out of frustration.”
Sonia addressed a series of election rallies across eastern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
“Our definition of a strong leader is different. In our view, a strong leader is one who does not talk big, but his work should be big enough to speak for itself,” she said.
Referring to the attack by BJP leaders, led by L.K. Advani and Narendra Modi, she said: “We are aware of the strength of these leaders who have used insulting language against the prime minister. When they were the home minister and deputy PM, our Parliament was attacked and their government escorted the terrorists out of the country like guests.”
Sonia said Singh proved his efficiency by forcing Pakistan to admit its role in the 26/11 attacks, by the successful use of diplomacy. “On the other hand, those talking big now, could not do anything when the Parliament attack took place.”
She introduced a fresh element in her rally where she had a brief interactive session with the crowd. Sonia asked the questions — which party has fought poverty? Who has maintained communal harmony in the country? — and the crowd replied in a chorus.
Though she launched a strong attack on the BJP, Sonia did not name the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party in her speech.
The Congress president’s move to spare the two is being viewed as a tactical ploy to keep post-poll options open.