Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reluctance to make his stance clear about a third stint at the top post has drawn a sharp reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which said he "has shown his true colours".
The party also insisted that the people are not ready to give this "scam-tainted, corrupt government" another chance.
"Obviously, Manmohan Singh, the reluctant politician, has shown his true colours a few days after Holi and has indicated that he is audaciously ambitious," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
Dr Singh, in his interaction with the media on his return home from the BRICS summit in Durban on Thursday, appeared not to rule out another term for himself as prime minister.
He was responding to a question by Rediff.com on whether he would consider standing for a third term as the PM candidate if party president Sonia Gandhi requested him to do so.
BJP maintained that the functioning of Dr Singh as prime minister in the last nine years is "certainly a matter of public concern" and pointed out that several scams and “monumental corruption" have taken place with alarming regularity during his rule.
"The lacklustre, non-performing leadership of Manmohan Singh, involved in so many massive scams, some of which lead directly to his door steps, is not what the people of the country want or deserve and that too for a third term. India certainly deserves better and Indians are waiting for the opportunity to make it happen," Prasad said.
The main opposition also took potshots at Dr Singh and the Congress Party on the issue of prime ministership.
"Whether the comment of Manmohan Singh is aimed at his foes in Congress or is meant to put a question mark on Rahul Gandhi’s claim for the post of prime minister, for which a consistent chorus is going on within Congress, is entirely the internal matter of the Congress," Prasad said.
Gandhi had recently maintained that asking him about the prime ministership was "wrong".