New Delhi, July 23 : Unable to verbally deliver his reply to the debate on the Motion of Confidence in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday night, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had to hand over a written text of the speech to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
He used the moment of his UPA Government's victory in the trust motion to strongly criticize Leader of Opposition and the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L.K. Advani for choosing to "use all manner of abusive objectives" to describe his performance as the Head of Government.
"He has described me as the weakest Prime Minister, a nikamma PM, and of having devalued the office of PM. To fulfill his ambitions, he has made at least three attempts to topple our government. But on each occasion his astrologers have misled him. This pattern, I am sure, will be repeated today. At his ripe old age, I do not expect Shri Advani to change his thinking. But for his sake and India's sake, I urge him at least to change his astrologers so that he gets more accurate predictions of things to come - Dr. Singh said during his 3,581-worded speech.
Dr. Singh further went on to say that he had no desire to waste the time of the House in rebutting Advani's charges, but urged the veteran leader to indulge in some introspection before leveling charges of incompetence on others.
He cited instances of Advani compromising on his moral principles, such as the letting off terrorists in the aftermath of the Kandahar hijack and for being the inspiration behind the destruction of the Babri Masjid.
He also said that the Left needed to ponder over the company they are forced to keep because of miscalculations by their General Secretary, Prakash Karat.
"As for my conduct, it is for this august House and the people of India to judge. All I can say is that in all these years that I have been in office, whether as Finance Minister or Prime Minister, I have felt it as a sacred obligation to use the levers of power as a societal trust to be used for transforming our economy and polity, so that we can get rid of poverty, ignorance and disease which still afflict millions of our people," he said.
This is a long and arduous journey. But every step taken in this direction can make a difference. And that is what we have sought to do in the last four years. How far we have succeeded is something I leave to the judgement of the people of India," he added.
"The greatness of democracy is that we are all birds of passage! We are here today, gone tomorrow! But in the brief time that the people of India entrust us with this responsibility, it is our duty to be honest and sincere in the discharge of these responsibilities," he said.
"As it is said in our sacred texts, we are responsible for our actions and we must act without coveting the rewards of such action. Whatever I have done in this high office I have done so with a clear conscience and the best interests of my country and our people at heart. I have no other claims to make,", he concluded.