Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi/Bhopal: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday took a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is set to lay down office in about a month.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
On microblogging website Twitter, Chouhan said:
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— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) April 19, 2014
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, meanwhile, wrote in his blog that the Prime Minister`s Office said the PM spoke 1,200 times. “One does not become a communicative PM by reading template speeches,” Jaitley said.
Taking a jab at Dr Singh, Jaitley said: “It’s like the PM walked on snow and yet left no footprints behind.”
"In India, the Prime Minister`s read out speeches were not being heard by the people. They are no longer remembered or talked about. The PMO is right. Statistically, the Prime Minister was speaking, factually, he was not being heard," Jaitley wrote.
The BJP leader, who is fighting his maiden Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar against former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress nominee, Amarinder Singh, further added, "The PMO thought that this would counter the charge that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not a `speaking` Prime Minister...He must be heard with attention. He must be a leader and not just a reader."
The BJP veteran also took a dig at Rahul Gandhi`s brother-in-law Robert Vadra.
"Congratulations to Mr Robert Vadra. He has made it to the Wall Street Journal. The Vadra business model requires the research paper to be prepared by a key business analyst," Jaitley has said.
Targeting Vadra, Jaitley wrote, "Start a business without any investment. Investment will flow as loans and advances which is a synonym for political equity. Use these loans to buy property at fraction of the market cost."
Jaitley, who is facing a tough battle at the husting in Amritsar, further said: "Many people are willing to sell property for an inadequate consideration, accumulate a land and a property bank with the patronage of the state. Sell off some properties and repay back the original loan. The rest is all yours with no liabilities. So far this business model has raised only eyebrows. It is time it raises serious questions. That is what the Wall Street Journal has done."
Jaitley said that the Prime Minister is the key political executive of the country and must "command both moral and political authority".
"Prime Minister is the face of Indian democracy. His opinion shapes policy. He provides leadership. People look up to him for solutions. A Prime Minister cannot be low-key. He must arouse confidence in people. He must appear confident about offering solutions. He must be a top mass leader of the ruling coalition," the BJP leader said.
The BJP`s reaction was in response to controversy created by two recently published books, including the one by PM`s former Media Adviser Dr Sanjaya Baru.
On Friday, Dr Singh`s communication adviser made a belated attempt to redeem his battered image, suggesting that even that the media, especially television, did not take enough note about the all-round progress of the country and the Prime Minister`s thrust on development.
Speaking at a meet-the-press programme at the Press Club of India in New Delhi, Pankaj Pachauri said Manmohan Singh had in the last decade given 1,158 speeches - almost one every three days.
Pachauri further rolled out statistics about "unprecedented" development over the last 10 years which he said were not being picked up by media "as its priorities are different”.
He also said that the PM wanted his work to speak for himself and did not seek publicity for himself.
(With Agency inputs)