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Crude attack on Advani

Crude attack on Advani

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: April 16, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/169850/Crude-attack-on-Advani.html

It shows Congress in poor light

It is tragic that public discourse has fallen so low. The coordinated personal attacks by the Congress leadership - comprising party president Sonia Gandhi, general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - on BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Mr LK Advani, amply demonstrates that the standards of debate, discourse and criticism have hit rock bottom. For, the vicious personal remarks made by the Congress's first family and the Prime Minister go to show that the party does not have even a modicum of respect for democratic debate or public decorum, and has no qualms about turning an election campaign into an uncouth verbal slugfest. Last Monday the Congress's 'trinity' attacked Mr Advani by not only questioning his credentials as a leader - Mr Singh crassly questioned his contribution to national life - but also blamed him personally for the demolition of the disputed Babri structure and the release of terrorists in the Kandahar hijacking episode of December 1999. Apart from the snide remarks being completely outlandish, the manner in which they have been made - deliberately vilifying a senior politician with an impeccable track record as a parliamentarian and a Minister - is highly deplorable, not least because it militates against the spirit of democracy.

The Congress has sought to justify the over-the-top remarks by insisting that they are in retaliation to Mr Advani's criticism of Mr Singh as the "weakest Prime Minister India has ever had". An important distinction needs to be made here. True, Mr Advani has repeatedly made the point about Mr Singh's failure to exercise the authority that comes attached with the Prime Minister's office. But this is a statement of fact and a political assessment of the manner in which Mr Singh has deported himself. At no stage has Mr Advani questioned Mr Singh's integrity or mocked at him for his non-contribution to India's national life. Therefore, by no means can Mr Advani's comments be described as either personal criticism or below-the-belt attack. On the other hand, the utterances of the Congress's leaders are not only in poor taste, but also hollow in substance. More importantly, they seek to deflect attention from incontrovertible facts. For instance, Mr Singh was fully aware of the NDA Government's decision to release three terrorists to secure the freedom of the hostages held in Kandahar. It may be recalled that during those tense days the Congress kept on needling the Government for its 'inaction'. Its leaders issued several statements, demanding that everything be done to ensure the safety of the hostages. Those who now criticise the NDA decision would do well to take note of what Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said recently - that had he been confronted with a similar situation, perhaps he would have also settled for a similar course of action. After all, the lives of our citizens were at stake.

The intemperate outburst of Congress leaders, particularly that of the Prime Minister, is a clear indication that the party leadership is increasing becoming frustrated as the country heads into the first phase of polling. It would suggest that the party has run out of ideas to counter the Opposition and halt the latter's march. Hence its tirade against Mr Advani which deserves to be treated with contempt.

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