Manmohan vs Advani: The gloves are off | india | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan vs Advani: The gloves are off

india Updated: Mar 25, 2009 02:28 IST
Saroj Nagi
Saroj Nagi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s projection of Manmohan Singh as the party’s prime ministerial nominee on Tuesday promptly turned the 2009 Lok Sabha polls into a battle between him and LK Advani, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) aspirant for the post.

“…it is necessary that the reins be in the hands of a government which is a symbol of stability, continuity and national unity. We have a prime minister in Dr Manmohan Singh who believes in these values,” Gandhi said, releasing the party’s manifesto.

<b1>Minutes later, Singh was breathing fire. Reacting to a question about charges of being a weak prime minister, mostly by Advani, Singh said: “Is Mr Advani strong? The only prominent role he played was in the demolition of the Babri Masjid.”

And now Singh was in flow. “…[Advani] presided over the 2002 Gujarat riots, saw the terrorist attacks on Parliament, the Red Fort, rewarded terrorists who had hijacked the plane [to Kandahar]” and praised Pakistan founder MA Jinnah.

Later in the day, Advani retaliated, addressing a rally in Mathura to launch the BJP’s nationwide campaign. He charged Singh with playing second fiddle to Sonia. “He does not take any decisions himself. Whatever he decides, a minister first goes to 10, Janpath and takes Gandhi’s permission.”

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