PM's comment laughable, says BJP

The BJP reacted sharply to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement at his press conference that Narendra Modi would be disastrous as Prime Minister. The party said his phrase was “laughable” and does not augur well for the position he holds.

Besides the BJP, former NDA ally JD-U and the CPM, which had withdrawn outside support to UPA I, attacked the Singh for failing to curb corruption and for pursuing policies that turned out “disastrous" for the people.

Leading the counter offensive, BJP president Rajnath Singh said that it was “laughable” on the part of the prime minister for using such a language. Condemning it, Singh said, "It is very unfortunate that the prime minister is saying this even when the SIT and court have given him a clean chit."

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley held a press conference later to take a potshot at Singh.

"The use of such language against Modi does not add to the dignity of the prime minister. The dirty tricks department of the Congress has carried out certain tricks against Modi. If the dirty tricks department used such language, it was understandable. I am sure the Prime Minister of India is not a party of that dirty tricks department," said a derisive Jaitley.

Describing the press conference as a “farewell” meet, since the prime minister ruled out a third term, he said the two-year stint of Dr Singh was a “wasted opportunity”.

The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said the prime minister has “manufactured a new logic” of giving “electoral sanction” to graft, referring to PM’s statement that the Congress returned to power in 2009 despite the 2G and coal corruptions in the first term.

“This argument can be used by criminals after winning polls,” he quipped. But, the benefit of his own logic can be given to Narendra Modi, though the latter never took this route,  the BJP leader commented.

On the prime minister’s oft repeated answer to media and opposition criticism of his performance that ‘history will be kinder to him and only time will tell,’ Jaitley said that “history might have two views on his performance, but the voters have only one view and that will not be music to his ears.”

The CPM questioned Singh for "shielding" the corrupt and felt the UPA policies have been "disastrous" for the nation.

"Most of the scams have emerged in the UPA-II regime and that is something they have to own up (and accept) that this is what has happened," CPM Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechury said. He accused the government of "shielding some of them as it is happening in the Adarsh case".

JD-U- president Sharad Yadav said the prime minister’s replies were not convincing.

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