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BJP bristles at PM’s tough talk

The BJP hits back at Manmohan Singh and rubbishes the charges levelled by him against the NDA-led government as a "creeky response of a crumbling government."
Hindustan Times | By HT Political Bureau, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 20, 2007 02:49 AM IST

Angry at the uncharacteristic attack from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BJP on Friday hit back with vehemence saying he had lost his “sense of balance” and was venting on the BJP his frustration over failure to push through the India-US nuclear deal.

On Thursday, Singh had criticised the BJP for the “holocaust” in Gujarat, the Indo-Pak summit fiasco in Agra and the Kargil intrusions.

In what is probably the saffron party’s strongest and most virulent attack against Singh, its spokesman Ravi Shankar

Prasad said the Prime Minister’s latest criticism of the BJP clearly projected “the image of a much weakened Prime Minister hitting all around when cornered and unable to explain his turnarounds on core issues and his gross failure in politics and governance”.

Cong demands apology

The Congress hit back, demanding that the BJP apologise to the PM and the nation for the kind of language it used against him.

“It was an insult not to Manmohan Singh but the Prime Minister and the country….The BJP leadership owes an apology,” said Veerappa Moily, media department chairman. He refused to join issues with Ravi Shankar Prasad, describing him as “irresponsible and insensitive person who does not deserve any reply”.

Moily’s colleague Janardan Dwivedi said the saffron party’s spokespersons need to maintain their mental balance. “Singh is the Prime Minister of the country and at some level, the PM represents every citizen. Any responsible person should think twice before using such language.”

Prasad had accused the Prime Minister of suffering from “selective amnesia”, whereby he “conveniently forgets the catalogue of sins which was heaped on the nation during Congress regime”.

He also charged him with having lost his “sense of balance” when he described the Agra summit as a fiasco.

No snap polls: Basu

In Kolkata, veteran CPI (M) leader Jyoti Basu said there was no possibility of mid-term elections over the nuclear deal.

“There was a time when mid-term polls appeared inevitable. But it is not happening. That’s good. We want the government to complete its term,” he said.

Although Basu would not elaborate, his remarks have triggered speculation that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is in touch with Basu, may have assured him that the Congress will put the nuclear deal on hold.

With inputs from HTC, Kolkata

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