Mysore (Karnataka): Renewing his attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whom he had termed India`s weakest Prime Minister during the last poll campaign, Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani Saturday said the office has been devalued in the last six years.
"The office of the Prime Minister is steadily losing dignity and its functioning is coming in for sarcastic comments in media columns," Advani said, addressing a huge party rally here, about 130 kms from Bangalore.
The situation has come to such a pass that "the prime minister cannot even independently decide on his Independence Day speech," he claimed.
The rally was held to counter the Congress campaign against the two-year-old BJP government in Karnataka, particularly over alleged illegal mining by BJP ministers, the Reddy brothers of Bellary.
The Congress concluded a 16-day, 320km `padayatra` (march) from Bangalore to Bellary Aug 9. It was led, among others, by Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramiah.
Mysore is Siddaramaiah`s political base and hence was chosen by the BJP to organise the third of the four rallies it announced to take on the Congress` campaign against the government.
The first was held at Davangere Aug 2, the second at Gulbarga Aug 5 and the fourth will be in Bellary Aug 20.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to address the Bellary rally.
Advani, Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, party general secretary and South Bangalore Lok Sabha member HN Ananth Kumar and other party leaders criticised the Congress for demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into illegal mining.
Advani praised Yeddyurappa for banning export and transport of iron ore for export from Karnataka.
"He is the first chief minister to lead a delegation to the central government urging it to ban export of iron ore," Advani said.
He urged the central government to heed Yeddyurappa`s plea and ban iron ore export.
Advani also attacked the Congress-led central government over rising prices of essential commodities and said burden on the `aam admi` (the common man) was becoming unbearable.