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India should have politician as PM, says Jaitley


New Delhi, Dec 21:

In an apparent attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP leader Arun Jaitley Saturday said the country cannot afford to have non-politicians as the leader of the government.

Addressing a gathering at the 86th annual general meeting of FICCI, Jaitley attacked the ruling United Progressive Alliance, saying it had turned into a “dead duck government” from “lame duck government”.

Arun Jailtley, Leader, BJP
Arun Jailtley, Leader, BJP

Stressing the country cannot afford “a non-politician as prime minister”, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the post was “not employment” and the person occupying it should be “natural leader” of his party and the country.

Jaitley, who is the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the prime ministers can never look helpless and as if they were not being allowed to deliver.

The BJP has in the past accused the prime minister of not having the “last word” in decision making and has alleged that the real power in UPA government lies with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Referring to Congress debacle in the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh assembly elections earlier this month despite the party highlighting its welfare legislations, Jaitley said that the larger message from the results was that the state governments can beat anti-incumbency if they govern well.

He also accused the UPA government of failing to evolve consensus on economic decisions.

Targeting the government for its perceived policy paralysis, the BJP leader said: “There can be no alibi for non-performance on the economic front. Governments which fail to deliver on the economy tend to look for alibis.”

“The government gives the alibi that parliament is not being allowed to run and that important legislations are held up for want of consensus. But they never look inwards as to what the real problem is. 9 out of 10 measures required for the economy do not need legislations,” he claimed.

Jaitley patted party governments in states, saying states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh “have achieved remarkable growth in all these years”.

Referring to the points raised by earlier speakers on the goods and service tax, he said he was not unaware of its benefits on tax collection, but it cannot be done in a situation where the state governments feel that the central government was unfair.