New Delhi, April 13 IANS | 7 months ago

The BJP Sunday called Manmohan Singh the "weakest" prime minister ever, and asked him to introspect how his tenure "impacted the institution".

Commenting on the book "The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh" by the prime minister's former media adviser Sanjaya Baru, veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani said the book endorsed what everyone knew -- that Manmohan Singh was the weakest prime minister ever.

"The book has officially endorsed what everyone knew. When I said I feel he (Manmohan Singh) is the weakest prime minister ever, my colleagues said he is a nice man, why do you criticize him so much," Advani said.

"I pity him, and have sympathy for him."

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said Manmohan Singh must seriously introspect as to how his tenure has impacted the Prime Minister's Office as an institution.

"Manmohan Singh must seriously introspect as to how his tenure impacted on the institution of prime minister. Did he have the last word on all subjects? Or is it the system of the original communist states that was operating, where the party general secretary was always more important than the head of the government," Jaitley wrote in his blog.

"Prime ministers are known not by the number of years they have spent in office, but by the footprints they leave behind," Jaitley said.

The Prime Minister's Office, meanwhile, dismissed as "baseless and mischievous" the claims made by Baru in his book that its files were seen by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

"The statement being attributed to a former media adviser to the prime minister that PMO files were seen by Congress president Sonia Gandhi is completely baseless and mischievous. It is categorically denied that any PMO file has ever been shown to Sonia Gandhi," Pankaj Pachauri, communications adviser to the prime minister, said in a statement.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also defended Manmohan Singh and questioned the timing of Baru's book.

"A person who writes a book during 2004-08, and publishes it six years later is at the crossroads of ambition, greed, sensationalism and a complete disregard of ethical norms," Singhvi said.

"Not a single word of the allegations is true," he said.

Singhvi wondered why Baru remained silent for six years in spite of the "huge illegality as he claims has happened".

(Posted on 13-04-2014)

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