In a stinging attack on senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said hehad played a "prominent role" in the Babri Masjid demolition, presided over Gujarat riots and failed to prevent terror attacks on Parliament and Red Fort as Home Minister.
Upset by Advani's allegations that he is a "weak" Prime Minister, Singh hit back by questioning the BJP leader's contribution to the welfare of the country as Home Minister and said the electorate should decide whether Advani should lead the nation.
He also accused Advani of being "opportunist" while praising Pakistan founder M A Jinnah during his visit to Pakistan four years back.
"Whether I am a weak or a strong Prime Minister, actions of our government speak volumes about it," Singh told media-persons while releasing the Congress manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Noting that Advani keeps on making this charge, Singh referred to Babri Masjid demolition, terror attacks that took place during previous NDA government and hijacking of Indian Airlines plane while reminding BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate about his performance.
While recounting Advani's record as the Home Minister, Singh said "the country must decide whether this person (Advani) is fit to be the Prime Minister." The Prime Minister said Advani had played a "prominent role in destruction of Babri Mosque."
"What else has he (Advani) contributed to the national welfare? When he was the Home Minister, attack on Parliament took place, troops were mobilised for 12 months (on the border) and withdrawn without any reason resulting in losses to the tune of crores of rupees, Red Fort was attacked, plane was hijacked and terrorists were rewarded," the Prime Minister recalled.
Singh also said that Advani, as Home Minister, had "presided over massacres in Gujarat (in 2002)." The Prime Minister said while Advani "led the communal forces, he was opportunist enough when he visited Pakistan and suddenly discovered new virtues of Jinnah that he was a secular man."
Singh took a dig at Advani for what he faced from his party on his return from Pakistan. "The party disowned him at the behest of masters in RSS when he came back. So whether Advani is strong man or weak man, let the records speak for themselves," he added.