27 November, 2020

Sonia Vs Vajpayee: LoP-Sided Approach

Punit Paranjpe
Sonia Vs Vajpayee: LoP-Sided Approach
The slanging match between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the leader of the Opposition (LoP), Sonia Gandhi, has turned personal and bitter. Arguably, the budget session of Parliament has been more about Vajpayee versus Sonia than the government versus the Opposition.

It was the debate on the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) that triggered the first sparks. Sonia accused the PM of being "meek and submissive". The PM retaliated not by attacking her stand on POTA but by commenting on her inexperience as the LoP. While Sonia told her partymen on how she had "provoked" the PM, she was genuinely puzzled by what brought on such personal attack. In fact, at an informal gathering she even asked a cabinet minister what part of her speech might have made Vajpayee lose his cool.

It's a question that's intriguing many. According to a cabinet minister, when Vajpayee heard Sonia accusing him of being meek and submissive he wanted to respond immediately. "If he did not react, the media would have played up Sonia's accusations. This way, at least the PM got his...


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