Kolkata/Ranchi, Oct 21: BJP leader L K Advani today defended his oft-repeated criticism of Manmohan Singh being the “weakest” Prime Minister, saying he was only calling “a spade a spade”.
“The Prime Minister claims he is hurt because I called him the weakest Prime Minister in living memory. If calling a spade a spade is improper, I plead guilty,” Advani said, two days after the Prime Minister spoke of how the BJP leader's attacks appeared ‘intemperate' and that he should “avoid harsh words” in his criticism.
“But it is not me, it is the Supreme Court that has observed that the 2G scam could have been avoided and the estimated Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss to the exchequer saved had Mr Manmohan Singh acted”, Advani told reporters in Kolkata during his yatra that passed through West Bengal.
Rejecting Singh's suggestions that he was using harsh words, the former Deputy Prime Minister insisted he is the “weakest PM” heading a government showing symptoms of “terminal decline” after suffering multi-organ failure and that his remark was only a “political comment”.
“The Prime Minister has said that we should not use harsh words. What harsh words have I said? The only thing that I have said is that among all the Prime Ministers I have seen since (Jawaharlal) Nehru, Manmohan Singh is the weakest. This is a political comment. Where is the harshness?,” he said.
Advani, who was equally unsparing in attacking the Congress, said, “With every passing day, the UPA government, nominally led by Manmohan Singh, but commanded by Sonia Gandhi, is exhibiting all symptoms of terminal decline.
“The ruling party's most powerful general secretary makes daily statements that are routinely contradicted by other leaders of the party. Such a condition in a patient would be described as multi-organ failure,” he said.
On other issues, Advani opposed Anna Hazare's demand for a right to recall elected representatives since it would lead to perpetual instability in the country. “I am opposed to this. In a huge country like India, the right to recall will lead to perpetual instability,” he said.
At a rally in Ranchi, Advani asked the BJP-ruled states to accomplish the twin objectives of his ‘Jan Chetna Yatra'— good governance and clean politics.
“If we can't provide good governance, then how can we excuse ourselves?”