Lok Sabha polls to be a referendum on leadership, quasi-presidential: Arun Jaitley

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 17:36

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid mounting speculation over Narendra Modi being declared as BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate, party leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls would be a "referendum" on leadership and well turn into a "quasi-presidential" contest.

Though he did not name the Gujarat Chief Minister or any other BJP leader, Jaitley said: "When the principal opposition party, which has a proven leadership, throws up a powerful personality, the elections could become quasi-presidential in nature."

Stating that the country had been "suffering hugely" due to leadership crisis under the UPA rule, Jaitley berated the Central Government for its "indecisiveness" and singled out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the attack.

"The elections will also be a leadership referendum when people are disillusioned with a leaderless situation," the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.

Asserting that the run-up for the elections has begun, he said, "the writing on the wall is clear....Rest assure that we will announce very soon...We are fully conscious of that."
Delivering a lecture on "the current political situation in the country" organised by the Aurobindo Cultural Society here, the BJP leader claimed "anti-incumbency is writ large on the wall" and the country was looking for a change.

Holding that the UPA had no answer to the challenge posed by the BJP, he said all that it could do was to rely upon the `dynastic leadership.`

"The UPA has no answer for this challenge. When the BJP has a proven leadership and from among them emerge a prominent personality, the Congress has only a dynasty to depend upon," he said.

He said "cynicism and despondency" had eroded the confidence that the nation had been enjoying as an emerging power before the UPA came to power.

"The political situation in the country is now moving into a certain direction where the cynicism will be converted into hope," Jaitley said.

Lambasting the UPA regime over a host of issues from `coalgate` to fall of Rupee, Jaitley claimed the singlemost failure of the Government was the "indecisiveness" of the Prime Minister.

"The Prime Minister has to be the principal political leader. Some time, he has to even take unpopular or difficult decisions. That is what all world leaders do."

Though as the Head of the Government the Prime Minister had to discuss issues and even listen to contrary views of colleagues, it was for him to take the final decision as the principal policy builder, he said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 14:57

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