The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday hit back at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for criticising the saffron brigade and its leader L K Advani, saying Dr Singh has no right to lecture them on morality and accused him of "completely diminishing" the office of the high post.
"Advani has a record of public service for the past 50 years and he is an acknowledged national leader. His tough posture as Home Minister is well known. Manmohan Singh's record is no match for Advani. Singh is PM by accident as he never chooses to contest an election," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told media persons.
Earlier, Dr Singh, while releasing the Congress poll manifesto, said Advani had played a 'prominent role' in the Babri Masjid demolition, presided over Gujarat 'massacres' as Home Minister and failed to prevent terror attacks on Parliament and Red Fort besides 'rewarding' terrorists in the 1999 plane hijack.
The prime minister also took a dig at Advani for praising Pakistan founder M A Jinnah during his visit to that country.
Dr Singh's comments threw the main opposition into a tizzy with reactions and condemnations from several sections of BJP.
"A prime minister under whose authority the very office of prime minister stands completely diminished, as far as political weight is concerned, has no right to comment upon Advani," Prasad said hitting back at Dr Singh.
The prime minister had also criticised BJP for supporting Varun Gandhi after his alleged communal statements, saying a party which puts up candidates with "such mindset cannot take the nation forward".
Prasad said before speaking about Varun's statements, the Congress government should look within as it had ministers with "criminal" cases.
"What right has the prime minister got to give a lecture on morality when his government has got criminal elements," Prasad said.
He named former minister Shibu Soren, Railway Minister and fodder scam accused Lalu Prasad and Jagdish Tytler, accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
He also said Manmohan Singh was a non-political man and questioned his status as the prime ministerial candidate.
"Should I ask Manmohan Singh whether he is the prime ministerial candidate or Rahul Gandhi," he asked.
Prasad further accused the prime minister of being soft on terror and said the Mumbai terror attacks and India's stand against Pakistan since then were examples.