Shortly after Manmohan Singh concluded his press conference, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh criticised his comments against the party's prime ministerial candidate Modi.
Manmohan Singh said it will be "disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as prime minister" and that "India does not want such a prime minister".
"I want to say Modi in his tenure has made Gujarat a model state...," Rajnath Singh said. "Such a comment on him (Modi) is laughable."
"Whatever happened in 2002 is sad, but when SIT (Special Investigation Team) and court have given him a clean chit, such statement is unfortunate and condemnable," he added.
On Manmohan Singh's announcement that he will not go for a third term, Rajnath Singh said: "PM ruling out a third term only means he has conceded defeat in the national election."
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley called the press conference the prime minister's farewell speech.
He said Manmohan Singh's comments on Modi were against the dignity of the prime minister's office.
"The use of such language against Narendra Modi does not add to the dignity of the prime minister's office.
"The dirty tricks department of the Congress party has carried out certain tricks against Narendra 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," Jaitley said.
Jaitley called Manmohan Singh's tenure as prime minister a "wasted opportunity" and said the press conference was nothing but his farewell.
"In the press conference, he announced he will not be available for leadership after the 2014 general elections. It was a press conference intended to announce his own farewell," the BJP leader said.
He also criticised Manmohan Singh for calling the India-US nuclear deal the best moment of his tenure.
"It is ironic that the PM considers the India-US nuclear deal as the highest point of his tenure. I think bribery of MPs during the confidence vote on the nuclear deal was the lowest point of the Manmohan Singh government," he said.
Taking a jibe at the prime minister, Jaitley said the most frequently used statement in the press conference was "time will tell", but in democracy, the decision is taken by voters.
--IANS (Posted on 03-01-2014)