Congress hits back at Advani, says BJP veteran 'frustrated'

Congress today hit back at LK Advani for describing it as a 'fiefdom' of a single family, saying his views reflect "his frustration from unfulfilled desires".

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2011 21:58 IST

Congress on Monday hit back at LK Advani for describing it as a 'fiefdom' of a single family, saying his views reflect "his frustration from unfulfilled desires".

The ruling party also asked the BJP veteran to introspect why the his party "has conceded Opposition's space to civil society".

"Advani is nowdays blogging with frequency. His writings reflect his frustration and disappointment borne out of unfulfilled desires. The seriousness, which is expected from a senior politician, is not visible there," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters in New Delhi.

He also questioned why the "Opposition space is being conceded by BJP to pretenders and non-governmental types", adding that Advani should pay attention to these facts.

"If the BJP leader could throw some light on this aspect, he will be able to do some good for his party as well as the democracy," Tewari said.

Tewari was reacting to Advani's comments in his blog in which the BJP leader on Sunday said, "Sadly, the Congress today has become the fiefdom of a single family. The office of Prime Minister is reserved either for the nominee or a member of the Nehru family. India is paying a heavy price because of a Prime Minister nominated by the Congress president."

Noting that there was an increasing demand from within the Congress that scion of the Nehru family become the Prime Minister, Advani said the Prime Ministership of a great democracy like India should not be allowed to become the jagirdari of a family.

Tewari, however, dismissed the contention saying that Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were chosen by Congress as Prime Ministers as people voted for them and Sonia Gandhi is also the President of the party for that very reason.

Accusing the BJP of "selective amnesia", Tewari said, "Advani has attacked Congress a number of times. Perhaps it pinches him somewhere that people of the country gave Congress the mandate to serve them for 52 out of 63 years since independence."

Tewari also attacked Advani for his remarks on Jammu and Kashmir and 1971 Indo-Pak war saying that BJP or the erstwhile Jansangh and the organisations related to it were only part of the problem and not solution for Jammu and Kashmir in last 64 years.

"Advani has again raked up the issue of Article 370 in J-K. There is another Article 371 which gives special status to many states in the country. Will Advani throw light on whether BJP is against even this article," he said.

The Congress spokesperson alleged that the BJP leader has either forgotten or does not want to tell the nation that that the years 1947 and 1971 were golden opportunities in the history of independent India.

"It is known to all under what difficult circumstances the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India happened. In 1971, a country which was formed on the basis of religion broke on the issue of language. How fragile was the idea of Pakistan is perhaps what Advani ji has forgotten to mention," he said.

In his blog Advani had accused Congress of having failed to capitalise on the victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, saying that it resulted in Pakistan exporting "cross-border terrorism" and "religious extremism".

He also said the country paid an "incalculable price" for Jawaharlal Nehru's failure to settle the Kashmir issue in India's favour during partition.

First Published: Jun 27, 2011 21:26 IST