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Jaitley snipe at Swaraj: Who is in or out is marginal issue

March 15, 2014 20:19 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday appeared to snipe at party colleague Sushma Swaraj for opposing entry of Karnataka leader B Sriramalu, saying the "relatively marginal issues" of who is in or who is out are diverting the attention from the core issues of governance.

He said that the party needs to focus on the core agenda of governance and emphasise more on the importance of this issue for bigger advantage in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

"Relatively marginal issues such as declaration of candidates, particularly who is in and who is out, cannot be allowed to dominate the political agenda in the BJP. These issues divert the attention from the core issues of governance," he wrote on his blog.

This assumes significance as Swaraj has been opposing the entry of Sriramalu, leader of Karnataka's BSR party, into BJP and made her criticism known publicly last night by tweeting.

"I want to make it absolutely clear that B Sriramulu has been admitted in the party despite my stiff opposition," Swaraj tweeted soon after he was admitted in the party.

Sriramalu, a close associate of tainted mining barons Reddy brothers, is being fielded by BJP from Bellary constituency in Karnataka.

The party is also facing problems over moves to field prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh with incumbent MP Murli Manohar Joshi resisting if hard.

Jailey pointed to the opinion polls which projected that BJP-led NDA was comfortably ahead of Congress-led UPA, to claim that the big picture coming out of several such forecasts is that the BJP is a clear front runner and its gap with Congress is significant.

"Beside Modi’s leadership and an anti-incumbency against the UPA the big issue which is likely to dominate the voters’ mind is - who can provide a stable government. The more we emphasise the importance of this issue the larger will be the advantage to the front runner," he said.

The political debate, Jaitley said, is now centered around two basic issues; first, how will NDA cover the last mile to reach the 272 plus magic figure and secondly, nobody other than the NDA has a ghost chance of forming the next government.

"My personal analysis is that we are slowly but surely moving towards the magic figure. The last lap of the campaign has begun. The BJP needs to concentrate on consolidating its gains.”

"The voters must be persuaded that they should not waste their votes. Voting for smaller groups will not help government formation. India needs a government which rules for five years. Every percentage vote is capable of adding a significant number of seats to our kitty," he said.

Image: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley

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