Loud speaking is no indication of strength: PM (Lead)April 13th, 2009 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that loud speaking was no indication of strength and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani could not get away with “false accusations” by repeatedly calling him weak.
Speaking at a press conference here after BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley launched a sharp broadside against him, Manmohan Singh said: “If you read my statement, you will get my answer. Weakness or strength does not come from loud speaking. It comes from your capacity to react on time.”
“I don’t want Mr Advani to get away with false accusations,” he asserted, when asked if his recent strong statement on Advani was wounded pride, and added that it had nothing to do with his sentiment.
“I have to be accountable to the people.”
Manmohan Singh had told women journalists in Delhi last week that he did not consider Advani an “alternative prime minister” and so would not get into a television debate with him.
“Day after day, he keeps on saying that I am weak. Recently I have been answering that question how weak I am, how strong I am.”
Referring to the then BJP government exchanging three terrorists for the Indian Airlines hostages in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1999, Manmohan Singh said one of them (Masood Azhar) later founded the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
“By contrast… we did not negotiate with terrorists” after the terror attacks in Mumbai, he said, adding that “our commandos did us proud”. “That is the difference between us and the BJP.”
The prime minister also discounted as untrue BJP president Rajnath Singh’s claim that he had been consulted before releasing the terrorists.
“Rajnath Singh had said that as the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, I was consulted before releasing the terrorists. This is untrue….”
Earlier in the morning, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Advani labelled Manmohan Singh the “weakest” head of government.
“He has proved to be the weakest prime minister particularly for devaluing the high office because there can be no executive superior,” said Advani.
His colleague Jaitley said in Agra that the Congress leader was “frustrated” and “weak”.
“Manmohan Singh’s utterances clearly demonstrate his frustration. Running away from a debate with the BJP on crucial national issues only reflects his weakness,” Jaitley told a rally of BJP youth workers Sunday evening.
“World over, national televised debates are conducted to assist voters to make up their minds. But the prime minister has been reluctant to participate in one under the pretext that he is not a good speaker.”
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