Stung by his suspension from the Congress party, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Ministerial council late Tuesday night and declared that he was ready for a 'decisive battle.'
Reacting sharply to Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee's remark that Natwar had brought disrepute to the Congress, the former external affairs minister said there are three persons in Manmohan Singh's council of ministers who are accused in cases of murder and rape.
"Are they not bringing disrepute to the government? My record is impeccable," he said.
"I want to write to the Guiness Books of World Records that Manmohan Singh is the only prime minister of India among the eleven prime ministers that the country has had who has not won even a municipal election. What is he going to tell me," Natwar asked.
"Manmohan Singh is a nominated prime minister. He is not a representative of the people of India," he said.
Responding to Mukherjee's allegation that he had been carrying out propaganda against the Congress in recent weeks, Natwar said: "Let them give a proof of this."
"Is it fair that the (Pathak Authority) report is leaked from the office of Manmohan Singh," he queried.
Natwar claimed that Pranab Mukherjee wanted to become the prime minister after Indira Gandhi's death. He was thrown out of Congress for six years.
He said his suspension from the party came on 'Raksha Bandhan' day, which is a very auspicious day. "But for the Congress it is ..Vinash Kale Viparit Buddhi..(people act unwisely when facing destruction)."
Declaring that he was ready for a decisive battle, Natwar said: "I am a man of strong nerves. I won't take things lying down."
Asked when he would reply to the show cause notice given by Congress asking him to explain why he should not be expelled from the party, he shot back stating: "What is the hurry?"
Immediately after his suspension, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, Janata Dal (United) leader Digvijay Singh and BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha drove to Natwar's residence and had a 30-minute meeting with him.
Emerging from the meeting, Amar Singh said: "Natwar has always positioned himself in favour of Iraq, Iran and was anti-US. Now that India has been put on sale, he is fighting against that and paid the price for that."
Yashwant Sinha said the meeting with Natwar discussed Indo-US nuclear deal and how to bring a 'sense of the House resolution.'
Shatrughan Sinha said Natwar is not the leader of Congress alone but the leader of the country. "The country is facing trouble and at this juncture, we need to support Natwar."