Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A war of words erupted between senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday.
In a bid to fan infighting within BJP, the Congress leader had on Monday said that Sushma Swaraj was a better Prime Ministerial candidate than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Responding to this, Swaraj on Tuesday said: “Even I think Digvijay Singh is a better candidate than Rahul Gandhi.”
Singh took a potshot, saying: "So it means, she (Swaraj) is accepting that the UPA government is coming to power this time too."
The BJP also ridiculed the Congress leader for his remark, saying it did not need advise from a man who could not "dare" to fight Lok Sabha election and has been involved in his party`s three consecutive defeats in Madhya Pradesh.
"Our party has taken a decision after due deliberations. We don`t need his advise. But let me ask him who is his party`s PM candidate? The courtiers in Congress backed Rahul Gandhi for it but he did not accept the challenge," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Prasad said even Congress no longer takes Singh seriously.
"He could not dare to fight Lok Sabha elections from Madhya Pradesh. He keeps making such statements to be in media. Congress under him has lost for a third time in row in MP Assembly Elections. We don`t need his advise," he told reporters.
On Monday, Singh, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, said: “Sushma is acceptable like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It`s now no BJP only Modi."
"I say that Sushma would be a much better Prime Minister than Modi due to a number of reasons," Singh told reporters at his residence here.
Unlike Modi, Sushma Swaraj has an image of a moderate leader. She had begun her political career with the JP movement at a time when she was a student leader but had later on drifted towards the BJP, he said.
Sushma would be "more acceptable to allies" of the BJP in the NDA in the same way that (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee was, the Congress leader expressed.
"Sushma has conducted herself as the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha in a very dignified manner, although it was under her leadership that the Lower House of Parliament had faced maximum number of disruptions," he said, adding that he did not agree with her on many issues raised by her in the Lok Sabha.
She made many promises to the people of Vidisha before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but has not fulfilled most of them, Digvijay alleged.
The senior BJP leader also adopted two villages in each Assembly segment of the constituency which had given her maximum votes, but their condition was now pitiable, he said.
Sushma would this time be defeated from Vidisha as she has done nothing for the constituency in the last five years, he claimed.
(With PTI inputs)