April 10: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee led the charge and his lieutenants joined the chorus as the BJP stepped up its attack on the Congress and its chief, Sonia Gandhi.
In his first election campaign in Bihar, Vajpayee targeted the Congress for failing to accelerate the pace of development. “It is all too evident that what they (the Congress) could not achieve in 40 years, we did in six years,” he said at a rally in Buxar.
“The Congress sees unemployment everywhere because they are themselves going to be jobless,” he said, asking unemployed youths to be patient and not take up the gun.
His party colleagues kept up the attack on Bofors. Law minister Arun Jaitley and general secretary Pramod Mahajan demanded that Sonia “come clean”.
In Chhattisgarh, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani said the Congress should answer the questions his party has raised.
Mahajan also called for a debate on qualifications of people aspiring to be Prime Minister. “The person aspiring for such a post should at least be a graduate,” he told a rally in Uttar Pradesh.
Mahajan said he was not referring to any particular person but added that to the best of his knowledge, after Jawaharlal Nehru no member of the Nehru-Gandhi family could get a graduate degree. “Even Sonia Gandhi and Rahul are not graduates.”