Manmohan seeks to deflate BJP’s projection of Modi as strong leader

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New Delhi, December 19:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday sought to puncture BJP’s projection of Narendra Modi as a strong leader, saying no one should simply talk of firm leadership without specifying for what purpose it would be used for.

Dr. Singh while addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting here, also took an obvious dig at Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, saying those promises should not be made, which are outside the realm of possibilities.

In his first major reaction after the Assembly poll debacle of Congress, he said that partymen should not despair ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

“Assembly elections in a few states are not necessarily an indication of what will happen in general elections that follows some months later. We know this from the past,” he said, citing example of what had happened when NDA did well in the Assembly polls in 2003 but it was UPA that came to power at the Centre in 2004.

“Unlike some other political parties, our work programme for future must not be based only on promises, which lie outside the realm of possibility. Nor should we simply talk of firm leadership and decisiveness without talking of what the leadership will be used for and what decisions will be taken,” Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came in the backdrop of Congress leaders repeatedly maintaining that elections are about policies and programmes and not personalities and attacking Modi for not spelling out any plan of action and merely slamming the Congress leadership.

AAP, which is yet to decide in favour of forming a government in Delhi, has made many electoral promises, which Congress believes that it cannot fulfil.

Hitting out at BJP without naming it, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said, “Our opponents advocate policies of divisiveness and sectarian interests. They mock our secular ethos. Their ideology is illiberal and will prevent the continuing modernisation and emancipation of our country and our people.”

Ms. Gandhi told partymen not to be afraid of speaking about their ideals. “We must not be afraid to speak against those, who offer only a narrow and destructive alternative,” she said.

The Congress chief rued that “the opposition spent much time and energy in making vituperative and completely baseless personal attacks on all of us including the Prime Minister.”

BJP has been repeatedly targeting the Prime Minister, accusing him of providing “weak leadership” to the country.

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