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Advani asks Sonia to apologise for ‘slander’ remarks against BJP
Published on 13 Apr. 2009 11:20 PM IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Monday asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to apologise for her statement that there was a greater risk from parties within the country than from terrorists, saying that it was intended as a “slander” to the BJP. Though she did not mention any names, the sum and substance in it was clear, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate told reporters after ending a two-day campaign visit to Kerala. “Her statement is slander and she should apologise or join in debate on where does the danger come - from the BJP or the jihadis, Al Qaeda or ISI. Maybe she is ignorant of previous Congress leaders,” said Advani. He was referring to the Congress president’s speech during a rally in Khuti, Jharkhand, on Saturday where she said the “country should be careful of those who wear a mask of patriotism and want to break the country from inside. India faces a threat not only from terrorists but also from parties like these”. Advani also labelled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as 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. Advani, who arrived in Kerala Sunday evening to address a rally in Palakkad and addressed another gathering here Monday, dismissed the Third Front as irrelevant. “They have neither a common platform nor a common leader.” “It has also become clear that none other than the Congress or the BJP will rule New Delhi,” he added. According to Advani, former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri had praised the role of the Jan Sangh and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “After the war, in 1963, Nehru asked the RSS to send a contingent for the Republic Day parade. Now we have a Congress president who does not even know the history of her party.” He said he was both sad and happy in this election campaign - sad because this is the first time that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is missing from the election campaign. And happy “because all through I had a tag that I represent a north Indian party but now for the first time we rule one of the four south Indian states and we are going to consolidate further”, he said in reference to the BJP government in Karnataka. To a question on Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka’s statement that she sees her brother Rahul Gandhi becoming the prime minister one day, he shot back saying they were all young. He had not said anything on the matter in the past and would not do so now as well, Advani said. Rounding off the press conference, he said in reply to a question on whether he would prove the Congress wrong and become prime minister: “It’s for the people to prove and not me.” Following the press conference, he left for the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur in a special aircraft.

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