PM feels the challenge from Modi: BJP

There were divergent views and no consensus could emerge.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 3, 2013 12:26:44 am

The BJP Wednesday sought to derive a sense of achievement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Tuesday remarks where he had urged secular forces to unite against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. The saffron party described it as a reflection of admission of Narendra Modi’s challenge before the ruling party.

“The Prime Minister is adopting a defensive posture. He can sense the challenge from Modi. He is apprehensive,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said addressing a function at the party headquarters here.

In the backdrop of the Cabinet withdrawing the ordinance and the Bill on convicted lawmakers,Jaitley stressed that the entire episode has only established the leadership deficit in the government.

“The Prime Minister should be a natural leader of his party. He should listen to all opinions but finally take his own decision. When a leader half the age of the Prime Minister overrules him,his status is diminished,” he said.

Meanwhile,Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj sought to brush aside Congress members’ suggestion that BJP was originally in favour of the legislation that the government Wednesday decided to withdraw after the intervention of Rahul Gandhi.

“In the all-party meeting,four choices were placed before us. There were divergent views and no consensus could emerge. After the meeting,P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath both told me that we should send all four options to the Standing Committee for thorough deliberation,” Swaraj commented in a series of tweets late in the evening,adding,“After the Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha Kapil Sibal met Arun Jaitley and me in my chamber in Parliament and we made our opposition very categoric and clear.”

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad also highlighted how party leaders — Prasad himself and Jaitley — had voiced their objections to the Bill at the time of its introduction in Rajya Sabha.

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