Describing the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani as a 'slave of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh', Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said the saffron leader could not take any decision 'without the fear of the RSS'.
"It is Advani who is a slave of the RSS because he wants to protect his chair. This is the reason why he panders to each and every wish of the RSS," Gandhi told an election rally in Bidar, Karnataka.
Dismissing Advani's oft-repeated comment about Manmohan Singh being a weak prime minister, she asked whether the senior BJP leader could take any decision on his own 'without the fear of the RSS'.
Gandhi said that when Advani was the BJP president, he had given a 'secular certificate' to Jinnah during his visit to Pakistan, which created a furore in the RSS and ultimately led to his resignation from the post.
"Advani must remember that a prime minister does not belong to one party but to the whole nation and an insult to him is an insult to the whole country," she said.
"Now the choice is left to the people. They have to decide who is weak, whether it is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or BJP leader L K Advani," Gandhi said.
Accusing the BJP of 'being sympathetic towards terrorists', Gandhi said it was during the National Democratic Alliance's rule that 'terrorists were released and escorted to Kandahar'.
She said it was the "efficient and diplomatic tackling of the Mumbai terror attacks by the United Progressive Alliance government which compelled Pakistan to concede responsibility in the issue".
"We will not tolerate any such attack against India," Gandhi said.
Attacking the BJP government in Karnataka for 'improper utilisation' of central funds allotted for development work, she said "we gave crores of Rupees to Karnataka. We really do not know how the funds have been utilised".
She also came down on the saffron party for the 'rampant corruption' in the state and appealed to the people to cast their votes judiciously.
Highlighting the achievements of the Congress government since Independence, Gandhi said whether it is industrialisation or modernisation of the country, nationalisation of banks, empowerment of women through Panchayat Raj institutions or signing the nuclear agreement, it is the Congress which has always taken the lead.
"The people have to take all this into account and make an informed choice," she said.