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‘Govt lacked statecraft to deal with age row’

BJP leader Arun Jaitley criticised the UPA government for "not showing statecraft" in dealing with the age row involving army chief Gen VK Singh.

Mumbai: BJP leader Arun Jaitley today
criticised the UPA government for "not showing statecraft" in
dealing with the age row involving army chief General V K

"The government should have shown some statecraft to sort
out the issue behind closed doors," the Leader of Opposition
in the Rajya Sabha said at the `Express Adda` interaction
organised by the Indian Express Group here.

Gen Singh had yesterday moved the Supreme Court against
the government`s rejection of his claim on his date of birth.
"This should not have been allowed to precipitate for so
long. Intervention at the highest level should have taken
place earlier," he said.

Jaitley also accused the Congress of unleashing a
divisive agenda in Uttar Pradesh.
"The minority quota issue has changed governance agenda.
As per the Mandal Commission quota for backward castes exists
cutting across all religions," he added.

On the induction of tainted former Uttar Pradesh Minister
Babu Singh Kushwaha in the BJP, Jaitley said the former BSP
leader was admitted in the party by party president Nitin
Gadkari after consultations with some people.

"Correctives were done immediately because we are more
vulnerable from within than outside," he said.

On BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate for the next general
elections, he said the party had several efficient leaders all
over the country. "Decision will be taken at an appropriate
time to chose first among the equals," he said, adding that
the BJP was different from family-owned political parties.

Commenting on the proposed institution of Lokpal, Jaitley
said it should not be above the Government.

"Governance needs a deterrent. People need to be held
accountable. Lokpal should be an institution which keeps a
watchful eye and takes action whenever necessary," he added.

Asked why he has not contested elections yet, the BJP
leader said he has always been asked to manage elections.

"I hope some day the party will give me ticket to
contest," he quipped.


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