Debating India
Home page > Public directory > Indian Politics > Congress, BJP wage war of words

Congress, BJP wage war of words

Sunday 8 May 2005

Special Correspondent

BJP sticks to its guns; `Vajpayee under various compulsions’

NEW DELHI: It was point-counter point between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress on Friday. The BJP stuck to its description of Manmohan Singh as the "weakest" Prime Minister this country had had and the Congress countered saying that when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in office, and now that he is out of office, it was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that called the shots.

After a meeting of senior National Democratic Alliance leaders at Mr. Vajpayee’s residence here, Jaswant Singh, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, read out a statement on behalf of the NDA. He said the BJP had made a "statement of fact that Dr. Singh was the weakest Prime Minister."

"Under compulsions"

An hour later Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma responded: "When Mr. Vajpayee was Prime Minister his own party leaders described him as a `mukhota’ (mask). RSS leaders were present at official meetings at 7 Race Course Road and they briefed the media at the Prime Minister’s residence ... He was a Prime Minister who was openly dictated to and reprimanded by the RSS when he was in power and now when he is out of power."

Mr. Sharma said: "Mr. Vajpayee set out on a bus to Lahore to reach Kargil ... Mr. Vajpayee was not only weak, but he was under compulsions of various kinds."

The Congress spokesman said BJP president L.K. Advani’s condition was "pitiable." Everyone knew what the RSS had said and the summoning of the BJP Chief Ministers to the RSS headquarters in Nagpur was before all where "marks were given to them on their performance."

Mr. Jaswant Singh justified the NDA memorandum given to President A.P.J. Abdul KalamItsaid there were reports of the Government trying to prevent Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf calling on Mr. Vajpayee. But the NDA’s bottom line was that "the responsibility for the proper functioning of Parliament" was principally that of the treasury benches. Far from trying to end the impasse, the ruling party cast "unfounded aspersions" on the Opposition, made "insulting references" to its leaders and made "impossible" demands on it.

Mr. Singh said he stood by the description of the Prime Minister as the "weakest" as he was in control of neither the Government nor his party.

The Government had "no regard for the Opposition, it did not seek its cooperation, it was "perfectly content with a truncated Parliament," and wanted to "manipulate the legislature for partisan purposes."

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow-up of the site's activity RSS 2.0