Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party MP leader Ram Jethmalani on Friday slammed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's detractors within the party, saying those opposing his are unable to overcome their desire to become the prime minister.
"There are many people in the BJP who still nurture the desire to become the prime minister. These people should have overcome their desire (of becoming the PM) by now but they still have it," he said, when asked about his reaction on the opposition to Modi within the party.
The senior advocate, who was expelled from the primary membership for six years in May for being critical of the BJP leadership and revolting against the then party chief Nitin Gadkari, said that Modi has a place in people's heart.
Modi has faced opposition within his party following his elevation as the chairman of BJP election campaign committee with party patriarch L K Advani, who was National Democratic Alliance's prime ministerial candidate in 2009 parliamentary election, being the leading voice of dissent.
Jethmalani, a Rajya Sabha MP, also said the attempt by a group of MPs writing to the United States for not granting a visa to Modi would not affect the Gujarat chief minister. "They can do whatever they want, but now he is in the people's hearts. Nothing will happen to him," he said after delivering a lecture on ‘State of criminal justice system in India’ at directorate of training.
On Nobel laureate Amartya Sen saying that he does not want Modi to become India's prime minister, Jethmalani replied he was only exercising his freedom of speech. "This is a democracy. It is his right. The freedom of speech is for the thought that you don't like and not for the thought that you like. That is freedom of speech," Jethmalani said.
Sen had said he does not want Modi to become India's prime minister, as he does not have secular credentials. The prominent economist had also criticised Modi's model of governance saying he did not approve of it.