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PM’s direct attack on Modi rattles BJP

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BJP leader Arun Jaitley addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday. -- V. Sudershan
BJP leader Arun Jaitley addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday. -- V. Sudershan

“If the dirty tricks department of the Congress had used such language, it is understandable. I do not think that the Prime Minister belongs to that department.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party seemed taken aback at the Prime Minister’s unexpected and sharp attack against its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister said that he sincerely believes that it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

While party chief Rajnath Singh termed the Prime Minister’s statement on Modi unfortunate, Arun Jaitley, Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha, said using such a phrase (disaster for the country) against Modi does not add to the dignity of the Prime Minister’s office.

“If the dirty tricks department of the Congress had used such language, it is understandable. I do not think that the Prime Minister belongs to that department,” Jaitley told reporters here.

He said Modi has gone through a scrutiny involving the Police, Supreme Court, an SIT probe ordered by the apex court and a Commission of inquiry. Jaitley ridiculed the Prime Minister’s point that despite corruption allegations people elected his Government in 2009.

“The Prime Minister has manufactured a new logic. Electoral sanction to a corrupt Government wipes out an allegation. For the first time, a Prime Minister has given such a logic. I feel sorry,” the BJP leader said and added that his logic can be used by criminals also when they win elections.

“There is anger in society that criminals are entering politics,” he said.

Jaitley said the UPA Government provided a prefect recipe for disaster by failing in curbing corruption, checking unemployment and containing inflation.

The Prime Minister had taken on the BJP’s projection of Modi as a strong leader. Apparently hinting at Modi’s alleged inability to prevent the 2002 riots, the Prime Minister said the country does not need that “kind of strength”.

“If by strong Prime Minister you mean that you preside over mass massacre of innocent citizens on the streets of Ahmedabad, if that is the measure of strength, I do not believe that kind of strength this country needs, least of all in its prime minister,” he said.

Rajnath Singh said the Prime Minister’s comments on Modi were unfortunate. He said that Singh has accepted defeat in the next elections and that was why is he opted out of a third term.

“Instead of listing out his achievements, the Prime Minister has instead listed out the failures. This Government has proved a failure on all fronts. The Prime Minister has admitted that there is a dual power centre,” the BJP leader said.

jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 3, 2014)
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