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Cong did not name PM nominee due to scare of poll defeat: BJP

January 19, 2014 13:42 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday said that Congress shied away from naming Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate as it is foreseeing defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

It was also unsparing in its criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alleging his ministers "looted" the country while he blamed constitutional watchdogs like CWG and CVC for the slump in the economy.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj accused the prime minister of speaking "untruth", in an apparent reference to his remarks that bureaucrats were hesitant to take decisions fearing CVC and CAG.

She mocked the claim of Congress that it was not its tradition of naming the PM candidate and said a tradition is something which party leaders and workers are aware of, not something which they are reminded of at the last moment.

 "This is the same drama which we had seen during the time of 'inner voice'," she said in a reference to Congress President Sonia Gandhi's decision to not become the PM after her party's victory in 2004 polls and instead appointing Manmohan Singh for the top job.

"This is a party which hears the voice of conscience a bit too late and realises its tradition a bit too late. The truth is that Congress is scared and refused to declare its leader fearing defeat. The battle will be between our visible leader and their invisible leader," she said in a hard-hitting speech on the last day of two-day BJP National Executive meeting.

Swaraj also praised BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi, saying he has shown strength of character during the last 12 years as he fought false charges, which had accused him of collusion in 2002 Gujarat riots, and came out triumphant.

Asking whether the PM did not feel a "tinge of hesitation" when he said last year on the completion of four years of UPA-II that the economy he had inherited was a glass only half-full, she said the NDA government had left behind an economy growing at a robust 8.4 per cent which slowed down to 4.5 per cent under him.

"We had given you a full glass but you have done the job of emptying it," she said.

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