M A I N   N E W S

Mudslinging touches new low
Modi needs brain test: Cong
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News service

New Delhi, April 13
Launching a scathing attack on Narendra Modi without naming the Gujarat Chief Minister directly, the Congress today said some politicians needed to get their head examined for the statements they had been making during the election campaign.

As the mudslinging between the Congress and the BJP continued in the run-up to the first phase of voting on April 16, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said: “We have a national brain research institute. We can help some people get examined there as that would help them pursue good politics.” He was asked to comment on Modi’s recent statements in which he first described the Congress as “budhiya” (old) and subsequently called it “gudiya” (doll).

He also stated that the Congress kept public sentiments in mind and withdrew Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as its candidates for the elections in Delhi in view of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases against them. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had personally apologised in Parliament for the riots. “Did (BJP prime ministerial candidate LK) Advani or Modi apologise for the Gujarat riots…the BJP has no ideology.”

Recalling that Advani had described the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, as the “saddest day” of his life and in the same breath called the episode as Hindu reawakening, the Congress spokesman wondered “how Hindu reawakening and the saddest day expression could go together”. “Advani should apologise to the nation for perpetuating communal forces and pursuing divisive politics.”

On Varun Gandhi’s detention under the NSA for his hate speech, Sibal accused the BJP and the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh of being hand in glove. While the BJP was eyeing the Hindu votes in the state, the BSP was trying to win over the Muslims. He said Advani, BJP president Rajnath Singh and party candidate from Lucknow Lalji Tandon should all withdraw from the contest as they all had charge-sheets pending against them.




Rahul questions Advani’s leadership

Kochi, April 13
Attacking BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate LK Advani, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi today questioned his credentials as a 'strong leader' saying he was the Home Minister of the country when terrorists were released at Kandahar.

Quoting Advani that he did not know about the release of the terrorists, Gandhi, addressing a press conference said, “there are two possibilities. (Either) he is not telling the truth or his senior leader, the PM Vajpayee, did not trust him.”

“You should have resigned if the PM did not have faith in you,” he said.

Mocking at Advani, Gandhi asked, “Did he buckle under pressure when Kandahar happened or Vajpayee not believe in him. I want to know which is correct?”

Talking about his sister Priyanka's statement that she wanted to see him as the PM, the young leader said that he did not think his sister could have made such a statement.

“There is a twist to that. My family has always seen politics as something what you do for the country rather than where you end up. Rahul Gandhi becoming PM is not an important issue,” the AICC general secretary said, brushing aside the matter.

Backing the Prime Minister, Gandhi hailed Manmohan Singh and described him as “young”. He referred to the policies of the party and the stand of Singh on various issues to buttress his point that Singh was young. — PTI



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