Zee Media Bureau
Kolkata: A day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for "making fun" of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Tuesday defended his party.
"I read a statement of Soniaji where she said that the BJP made a fun of the Prime Minister, but the whole party is beside him (PM). But the person who made fun of the PM is the vice-president of the Congress Rahul Gandhi, not the BJP," Singh told a press conference here.
"The BJP did not show any disrespect to the Prime minister. If Soniaji has any concern for the respect of the PM, she should ask Congress vice president to resign or tender an apology to the country," he said.
The BJP chief said that when the PM is out of the country, he is not the Prime Minister of a political party, but he represents the entire nation.
"At that time, snubbing the PM, putting a question mark on his credibility or even dubbing an ordinance a complete nonsense defeats the very purpose for which the PM has gone abroad," he said.
The BJP president said that his party was opposed to the ordinance to safeguard convicted parliamentarians and legislators from the beginning.
"Our leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley had already met the President with a request not to sign it. I also request the President to return the Ordinance," he said.
On Monday, Sonia asserted that the "whole party stands behind" the PM.
"They (BJP) make fun of our party, they make fun of our Prime Minister," she told a huge Congress rally in Mandya, Karnataka.
BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said at a rally in Delhi on Sunday that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described Manmohan Singh as a "dehati aurat" (rural woman) during a meeting in New York with Indian and Pakistani journalists.
He accused Rahul Gandhi of insulting Manmohan Singh by ridiculing a government-backed Ordinance on convicted lawmakers.
Rajnath Singh had on Monday also criticised Rahul Gandhi for calling a Cabinet-approved ordinance "complete nonsense" which should be "torn up and thrown away", saying the remarks would spread anarchy.
Describing Rahul Gandhi`s outburst as an insult to the nation as well as to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BJP chief had said the Congress vice president should have asked for the ordinance to be formally withdrawn, instead of publicly denouncing it.
(With Agency inputs)