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BJP, Cong in war of words over PM's comments
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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PM terms 2002 Gujarat riots a Holocaust
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October 19, 2007 18:27 IST
Last Updated: October 19, 2007 19:14 IST

After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] launched a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party on his return journey from South Africa and questioned the party's credentials to talk about morality, particularly when hundreds were killed in the Gujarat riots in 2002, in retaliation, BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a counter offensive against Dr Singh at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday evening.

"Dr Singh's tirade against the BJP yesterday (Thursday) is not only unfortunate, but also outrageous. It shows how rattled he is by his own abysmal failure," he said.

The BJP spokesman in his interaction with the media had asked Dr Singh to clarify on his shifting stand on the nuclear deal.

Dr Singh had said if the deal did not go through, it would not be the end of the world. He added that the government was talking to its alliance partners and that the nuclear deal had been frozen, which angered the American administration.

Prasad criticised Dr Singh's stand on the nuclear deal and for calling Gujarat riots a 'holocaust".

Prasad wanted to know how Dr Singh would describe the targetted killing of thousands of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984 with clear governmental connivance.

He wanted to know how the CBI, which falls under direct charge of the prime minister, gave a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler, one of the prime suspects of 1984 anti-Sikh carnage.

PTI adds:

The Congress on Friday responded to a Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman's remark about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's mental bankruptcy, saying the BJP functionaries must not lose their mental balance.

"The BJP should tell its spokespersons and functionaries not to lose their mental balance," AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters.

He was reacting to BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad's attack on the prime minister for dubbing the Agra [Images] Indo-Pak Summit a fiasco.

"When Dr Manmohan Singh talks of the Agra Summit fiasco, it points to his 'mental bankruptcy," Prasad had said.

Dr Singh, on board a special aircraft, had said on Thursday while returning from South Africa, that the BJP was not qualified to talk about his our moral right to govern as it was in power when the Agra Summit ended in a fiasco, when the Gujarat holocaust took place, and when the Pakistanis intruded into Kargil.

The prime minister was particularly peeved by the BJP's suggestion that he had no moral right to govern after his U-turn on the India-United States nuclear deal.

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