BJP takes on Congress over Shashi Tharoor's PM candidate remark

Shashi Tharoor

Launching a frontal attack on the ruling Congress Party over Minister of State for Human Resource and Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor's remark that the party president or vice-president can be the Prime Minister in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said the UPA Government will not get a third term for the nation is angry on the twin issues of inflation and corruption.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said "it is very ironical that when there is a sitting Prime Minister, his Cabinet colleagues vouch for somebody else to be the leader in 2014''.

"So, this speaks for the authority of the Prime Minister and that's why the government's plans are deterring. But let me also tell that the country is so angry on the twin issues of inflation and corruption that it is not going to give the third chance to the UPA," said Javadekar.

"So, this is their last year in power and it will be a BJP-led government (in 2014). So, there is no reason for us to comment on a selection of PM," he added.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Bhopal yesterday, Tharoor said if the party is voted back to power its president or vice-president will become prime minister

"Ours is not a presidential system like the USA where we have an Obama vs Romney direct contest. We operate within a parliamentary system where a political party, which comes to power, will choose the PM among its elected members. Generally, it's the president or the vice-president of the party," he said, without naming Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi.

Tharoor, however, avoided commenting on whether there would be a direct contest between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi for the Prime Minister's post in 2014.

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