Throwing strong hints that BJP is likely to declare Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate soon,its senior leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the coming Lok Sabha polls would be a “referendum on leadership” as the country had been “suffering hugely” due to leadership crisis under the UPA rule.
Berating the UPA Government for its “indecisiveness”,and singling out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for attack,the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha said “The elections will also be a leadership referendum when people are disillusioned with a leaderless situation.”
Though he did not name Modi,Jaitley said: “When the principal opposition party,which has a proven leadership,throws up a powerful personality,the elections could become quasi-presidential in nature.”
Delivering a lecture on “the current political situation in the country” organised by the Aurobindo Cultural Society here,the BJP leader claimed “anti-incumbency is writ large on the wall” and the country was looking for a change. Stating that the run-up for the elections had started,he said “the writing on the wall is clear. rest assure that we will announce very soon…We are fully conscious of that.” Holding that the UPA had no answer to the challenge posed by the BJP,he said all that it could do was to rely upon the ‘dynastic leadership.’
“The UPA has no answer for this challenge. When the BJP has a proven leadership and from among them emerge a prominent personality,the Congress has only a dynasty to depend upon,” he said.
He said “cynicism and despondency” had eroded the confidence that the nation had been enjoying as an emerging power before the UPA came to power.”The political situation in the country is now moving into a certain direction where the cynicism will be converted into hope,”Jaitley said.
Lambasting the UPA regime over a host of issues from ‘coalgate’ to fall of Rupee,Jaitley said the singlemost failure of the Government was the “indecisiveness” of the Prime Minister. “The Prime Minister has to be the principal political leader. Some time,he has to even take unpopular or difficult decisions. That is what all world leaders do.”
Though as the Head of the Government the Prime Minister had to discuss issues and even listen to contrary views of colleagues,it was for him to take the final decisions as the principal policy builder,he said.
Jaitley,who served as Law Minister during the NDA rule,recalled that this was how the then prime minister A B Vajpayee functioned. On the contrary,the UPA had chosen to follow a “structurally defective model.” It had followed the “corporate model” where decisions were taken outside (the government) and the Prime Minister was implementing them like a Chief Executive,ignoring the fact that democracy could not be run on the corporate model,he said.
Instead of taking decisions,even if they could be unpopular depending on the situation,the government had often tended to defer them and the outcome was that “for the first time we heard the phrase policy paralysis,” he said. Referring to the economic situation,Jaitley said had exploration of natural wealth like coal and iron ore been unaffected by corruption,revenue generated by them would have to a large extent offset the Current Account Deficit,which was in turn linked to the fall of rupee. He said the national security also suffered during these years due to the “vote bank politics” pursued by the UPA regime.