India's Sonia Gandhi declares strong support for embattled PM
NEW DELHI (AFP) - The head of India's ruling party strongly defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, just days after her son heaped embarrassment on him and his government over a move to protect convicted MPs.
Sonia Gandhi, the country's most powerful politician, said the Congress party firmly "stands behind" the prime minister after her son Rahul Gandhi, number two in the party hierarchy, branded a government decree "complete nonsense".
She also attacked the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for "making fun" of Dr Singh and slighting the achievements of her party, which faces an uphill battle to win elections next year after almost a decade in power.
"They (the BJP) ridicule our achievements. They make fun of our party, our prime minister. I want to tell them that our whole party stands behind the prime minister," Mrs Gandhi said at a rally in the southern state of Karnataka.