Choice is between Modi or chaos: Jaitley

As the country gears up for the Lok Sabha elections, Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday took on the Opposition, saying the choice is "either (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi or chaos".

He also claimed that the 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance) is turning out to be a 'gathbandhan' of "several conflicting gathbandhans (coalitions)" and a "self-destructive coalition of rivals".

Jaitley said that most of the parties, barring Congress and the Left, had "done political business" with the BJP in the past and their ideologies and commitment to their constituents are "widely different."

In a blog post titled 'Agenda 2019 — Part - I: The Leadership Issue', he said there is "absolute clarity" that Modi will lead the coalition and will be the prime minister in the event of the NDA's victory. 

"His leadership is nationally accepted, his ratings are very high.  His track record speaks for itself... Against him it is no one projected leader. There are multiple leaders, each trying to outwit the other," Jaitley said.

"They can only promise a temporary government if we go by the past precedents. One can be certain of chaos. The choice is clear — it is either Modi or chaos," he added.

He said potential partners are contesting against each other in states, citing the example of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir.

Calling the leadership issue in the Opposition an "absolute puzzle", he said Congress president Rahul Gandhi was an "inadequate leader" who was "tried, tested and failed". 

Jaitley did not spare West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and BSP chief Mayawati as well in the blog. He said Banerjee has been positioning herself as the 'sutradhar' (coordinator) of the Opposition alliance. Mayawati, he said, was holding her cards close to her chest and would reveal her strategy only after the results are declared.

"Leaders with flexible ideologies think that they are acceptable to all. The Opposition alliance is unclear — it is absolutely fragile. None of the political parties is capable of any significant number of seats. The alliance will not have a stable nucleus. It has a set of highly ambitious, self-centred and maverick leaders," he said.

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