New Delhi, April 19 IANS | 6 months ago

BJP leader Arun Jaitley Saturday took a dig at Manmohan Singh over information provided by his office that he delivered a speech almost every third day, saying the prime minister "walked on snow but did not leave any footprints".

In an article on his website, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha said the prime minister must be communicative and must be heard with attention.

"The PMO is right. Statistically, the prime minister was speaking, factually, he was not being heard. The prime minister walked on snow, but did not leave any footprints," Jaitley said.

Referring to information provided by the prime minister's communications adviser Pankaj Pachauri Friday, Jaitley said the PMO thought it would counter the charge that Manmohan Singh was not "a speaking prime minister".

Jaitley said the prime minister was the key political executive of the country and "cannot be low key".

"He is the face of Indian democracy. His opinion shapes policy. He provides leadership. People look to him for solutions. A prime minister cannot be low key. He must arouse confidence of the people. He must appear confident about offering solutions. He must be a top mass leader of the ruling coalition. He must command both moral and political authority," he said.

Jaitley said the prime minister must be a leader who is heard. "He must be heard with attention. He must be a leader and not just a reader."

Referring to his interactions with speech writers of US President Barrack Obama during his visit to India, Jaitley said each of Obama's speeches was prepared by an expert, vetted by a group of officials and eventually by the president himself.

He said Obama read out most of his speeches from a teleprompter that had a transparent screen.

"We, in the audience, thought it was an extempore speech. But the president was reading from two teleprompters, even in the central hall of parliament. The impact his delivery and diction created was huge," he said.

"In India, the prime minister's read-out speeches were not being heard by the people. They are no longer heard or talked about," Jaitley said.

(Posted on 19-04-2014)

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