Manmohan is leader neither of party nor country: BJP

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) As the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) got down to celebrating its fourth anniversary, the BJP Wednesday trained its guns on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said he was leader neither of his party nor the country.

“For a coalition government, there is a need for a special leadership. I regret to say that in UPA Manmohan Singh is the prime minister but not leader. He is neither leader of his party nor the country,” BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told the media here.

Addressing a press conference on the fourth anniversary of the UPA-II government, Sushma Swaraj said the UPA leadership was divided. “In the cabinet, UPA allies sit with the prime minister but for any solution to their problems they look towards the UPA chairperson (Sonia Gandhi).”

“This divided leadership is leading to uncertainty in the country. This is political failure.”

Her colleague, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley added: “They look towards the UPA chairperson for the present, to someone else for the future, as if there is no political role for the PM.”

Asked about the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Sushma Swaraj said the decision would be taken at an “appropriate time” and with “consensus”.

“We have said it, the decision will be taken at an appropriate time, by the parliamentary board. The allies will also be consulted. All decisions in the parliamentary board are by consensus,” she said.

She also said L.K. Advani was not ruled out.

Responding to a question on whether Advani was out of the race for the top post, she said: “I never said that.”

Discussing the economic failures of the United Progressive Alliance government, Sushma Swaraj said: “When the NDA had come to power, we had inherited a crumbling economy. But when we left the government, we gave them a booming economy.”

The BJP leader said the UPA-II had crossed all limits as far as corruption was concerned. “There was not so much corruption in UPA-I. One scandal leads to the other. The amounts are mind-boggling.”

Jaitley added that the UPA’s fourth anniversary was being celebrated in a negative and pessimistic environment.

“The propaganda is not being accepted by the country. All opinion polls point to the fact that the Congress and UPA are losing their popularity fast,” Jaitley said.

“Never in history has the prime minister’s post been so diminutive.”

With the elections only months away, the UPA-II government will present a final report card to mark its fourth anniversary.

The ‘Report to The People 2013’, which will be released by the prime minister, is expected to try to blunt the opposition attack with statistics.

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