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Rahul Gandhi defends Manmohan

T. Ramakrishnan

PUDUCHERRY: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday endorsed and defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s record in power, saying he had achieved a lot for the country.

“He didn’t buckle in front of terrorists. He didn’t do a Kandahar,” Mr. Gandhi told a press conference here after interacting with members of the party’s youth wing.

He was responding to a query on the National Democratic Alliance prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani having described Dr. Singh as the “weakest Prime Minister” the country has seen.

Noting that there were times when Dr. Singh had shown tremendous grit, determination and toughness, Mr. Gandhi described the Prime Minister as a “first class gentleman, honourable gentleman.” He has kept the country growing faster than ever in the past.

“He has been able to put a massive amount of pressure on our neighbour on the Bombay [terror attack] issue. He has been able to sign a strategic deal [with the United States] that was not signed during the previous government. He has done a lot.”

On Varun Gandhi

Asked for his reaction to the controversial observations made by his cousin and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the Pilibhit constitutency in Uttar Pradesh, Varun Gandhi, the Congress general secretary replied: “You shouldn’t carry anger and hatred around with you… I’ve been taught that hatred and anger blind you.”

Mr. Rahul Gandhi expressed surprise over the remarks made by his cousin, but said he would not like to dwell too much on that episode.

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