New Delhi, Dec 22 IBNS | 8 months ago

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Saturday appeared to take on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying India could not afford a 'non-politician' leader.


Seemingly championing the cause of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the senior leader of the right-wing outfit said the country could run on the pattern of corporates.

"India cannot afford a non-politician as a Prime Minister ...India must now realise that this whole experiment, (where) you can have corporates running in this manner, you can't have the world's largest democracy running in this manner," Jaitley said.

Addressing top industry leaders at the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi on Saturday, Jaitley made several veiled jibes at Singh.

"Prime Ministership is not like an employment. Prime Ministers must always have the last word in a government. Prime Ministers must be the natural leaders of the country, certainly of their own party and the government.

"Prime Ministers can never look helpless. Prime Ministers can never go back with the feeling that I'm not being allowed to deliver," he said.

He said that the corruption and policy paralysis that gripped the present government has hit the "brand India' image internationally and this has resulted in the reversal of the investment cycle.

"This whole movement will have to stop...All this is hurting brand India, the image of India, the investment image of India and that's where we need a Prime Minister who says this is not acceptable," he said, alluding to Modi.

"If you thought that you only have only some schemes which you think are extremely popular and that alone will make you win elections, so all the slogans of the recent months have absolutely no impact as far as the electorate was concerned.

"Because the electorate was looking at something much more, which was effective governance. Which was looking at government with an image," he said, referring to the recent poll debacles by the ruling Congress party.

Calling the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) a "dead duck government", he said jingoism can make up the image of the country.

"Image will not depend on jingoistic statements but on how the nation is being governed," he asserted.

(Posted on 21-12-2013)