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PM to Advani: what is your record?

Confident that the actions of his government spoke volumes of its performance, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday took on his opponent L.K. Advani and said it was for the people to judge who was fit to rule the country.

Responding to questions on the BJP leader’s oft-repeated charge that the United Progressive Alliance had a weak Prime Minister, Dr. Singh pointed to Mr. Advani’s track record as Home Minister of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime. But, first he drew attention to Mr. Advani’s role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992.“When I look at his record, I understand that he played a prominent role in the destruction of the Babri Masjid. What else has he done? When he was Home Minister, Parliament was attacked. Troops were mobilised for months along the border and withdrawn without reason; resulting in the loss of thousands of crores which could have gone to the common man. The Red Fort was attacked, an aircraft was hijacked, terrorists were rewarded, and the Gujarat carnage happened. The country has to decide whether he is fit to be Prime Minister.”

Dr. Singh referred to Mr. Advani’s visit to Pakistan where he found “new virtues in [Mohammad Ali] Jinnah.”

March 25, 2009 Posted by | News, Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Girdhari Lal Bhargava passes away

Sitting MP from Jaipur, Girdhari Lal Bhargava, 73, passed away in Ahmedabad in Gujarat after suffering a heart attack on Sunday.

A six-time MP from the city, he was once again given ticket by BJP last week to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

On Saturday he was in Ahmedabad to attend an ONGC parliamentary committee meeting during which he complained of uneasiness in chest. He was rushed to Apollo Hospital, where he passed away around 8 am on Sunday. He is survived by wife, three daughters and a son.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot and leader of Opposition Vasundhara Raje paid floral tributes to the departed leader at Sanager airport in the evening when his body was brought here from Ahmedabad. Thereafter his body was taken to BJP headquarters where thousands of workers were waiting for a last glimpse. His mortal remains will be taken to his paternal home at Purani Basti and the cremation is expected to take place at Chandpole crematorium on Monday.

As news of his death spread on Sunday, the entire city plunged into grief and many functions including Vasundhara Raje’s birthday celebrations were cancelled.

Bhargava, who was all set to plunge into another poll battle, will be remembered as a common man’s leader.

March 9, 2009 Posted by | News, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Rahul Gandhi emerges as a key player ahead of LS polls

Finalising seats with the NCP in Maharashtra came after a crucial meeting in Pune. Officially, it had nothing to do with alliances, but Rahul’s touch has been seen in many crucial decisions of late.

On paper, the agenda for the meeting was a look at the sugarcane industry. But there was certainly more juice to it, as Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar came around to a seat sharing understanding. So, did Congress use Rahul Gandhi to stall the NCP from getting close to the Shiv Sena?

“Rahul Gandhi is a very senior functionary of the party and if he’s used in various roles, then what is the harm in that?” said Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh.

Of late Rahul Gandhi has been very quiet. He played a key role in the tie-up with another GenNext leader Omar Abdullah after the J&K polls. Rahul’s official role may be limited to reshaping the youth Congress but he has been advising on tickets for candidates too.

“I think it’s just like his father Rajiv Gandhi but this time it’s not under unfortunate circumstances,” said Oscar Fernandes, Union Minister of State for Labour.

During the recent assembly polls, it was Rahul Gandhi not Sonia Gandhi who campaigned extensively. But at that time she was said to be not well. But now there’s no excuse. He’s simply playing a more decisive role.

And later on Thursday is Rahul Gandhi’s big Kerala rally. He will launch the UDF campaign at Sangu-Mugham beach in Thiruvananthapuram. He will also inaugurate the valedictory function of the ‘Kerala Raksha March’ led by state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | News, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment