Manmohan Singh in chair but not in power: BJP
Hyderabad: Scoffing at Congress' assertion that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi shared a "unique" relationship, BJP today said though Singh was technically at the helm, the real power rests in the hands of Gandhi.
"Andhra Pradesh may not have power but Dr Manmohan Singh needs the charging of power by Sonia Gandhi to establish his authority as Prime Minister.
"Should the Prime Minister of a big country like India need to have the charging from a battery to show his own authority. Manmohan Singh is in chair but not in power," said BJP's Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Rubbishing "two power centres" remarks of its general secretary Digvijay Singh, Congress had yesterday said the relationship that has existed between Sonia Gandhi as Party President and Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister is "unique and ideal".
Taking on Singh for his statement that the country's economy was facing a downturn, Prasad said the Prime Minister was merely doing a lip-service and not taking any concrete step to bring the economy back on the track.
"Let me ask Dr Manmohan Singh...You are now in the ninth year of your Prime Ministership. After April, the 10th year of your PM-ship will start. Dr Manmohan Singh, you are an economist. You are only diagnosing the problem. What about the solution?"
"Let me ask a question today in Hyderabad. Dr Manmohan Singh, will you walk the talk? What you spoke today and this kind of statements you have been giving for the last four years. That is the problem. There is price rise, there is slow growth, there is corruption, I will look into it. Looking into it has taken four years. The people of the country will start looking at them when the time for election comes," Prasad said.
Prasad was in Hyderabad to persuade BJP MLAs, who are on fast for the last five days over prevailing power crisis in Andhra Pradesh, to call off their protest.