BJP throws up its arms, urges PM to stop attacks

April 15th, 2009 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, April 15 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to get personally involved in any “smear campaign” after he continued his sharp criticism of BJP leader L.K. Advani.
The BJP’s plea came in the wake of an intensified attack on the party and its prime ministerial candidate Advani by Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi who Wednesday said every one in India knows “who is slave of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)”.

Advani and other BJP leaders have been relentless in calling Manmohan Singh a “weak prime minister” who acts at the behest of Gandhi.

Even as Gandhi, addressing an election rally in Bidar in north Karnataka, stepped up attack on Advani and BJP for their alleged inability to take any independent decision without the approval of RSS, BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters here that “for a healthy democracy, this kind of slanderous campaign is not a good signal”.

Accusing the Congress of carrying out a slanderous campaign against the BJP and its leadership, Rajnath Singh said his party condemns this approach adopted by the Congress leadership.

“At a time when there should be a serious debate on burning issues like terrorism, security, price rise, recession and development, the Congress is shying away from having a serious debate on them,” the BJP president said.

He urged the prime minister to take the initiative to stop the campaign against the BJP.

“It is the duty of the opposition to give its views on the functioning of the government. If the opposition is commenting on the performance of the prime minister, it should not be considered as a personal attack.”

“It is the moral obligation of the opposition to resort to constructive criticism of the government. If the prime minister is criticised for his actions, instead of the prime minister defending himself, his party colleagues should come forward to defend him. But the prime minister should not get personally involved in any kind of smear campaign,” Rajnath Singh said.

Comparing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to a sinking ship, he said it had failed on all fronts.

He said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was stronger.

“We also have friends outside NDA who will join us soon after the election results are announced. In Indian politics, the NDA has become a formidable force with its remarkable show of unity, consistency and strength in testing times,” Rajnath Singh said.

On the Congress attack on the BJP-led government’s handling of the hijack crisis of 1999, Rajnath Singh said: “The Congress was a party to the all-party meeting convened by the NDA to resolve the crisis. In a forced situation like Kandahar, a consensus decision was taken to save the lives of people in the hijacked plane — which did not have relatives of BJP leaders.”

He alleged the Congress had “forgotten its misdeeds” in the Charar-e-Sharif siege in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995.

“The then Congress government had ensured a safe passage for five dreaded terrorists in a situation where there were no hostages. The same people today are blaming the NDA for taking a decision in a crisis situation. The Congress party should keep in mind the age-old adage that people living in glass houses should not throw stones at others.”

Referring to the absence of a a common manifesto of NDA, he said: “Though we wanted to bring out before the polls an agenda for governance, the party decided to have a consensus agenda for governance after the elections because the party is confident of new alliances joining it after the elections. The NDA is confident of getting majority on its own.”

Rajnath Singh was on a day’s tour of Karnataka to address election rallies at Mandya, about 80 km from Bangalore, and other places.

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