Jaitley urges BJP to announce PM candidate without controversy to build on momentum
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that there should be no controversy over the issue of the party's Prime Ministerial candidate as that would be akin to committing a political 'hit-wicket' and turn out to be the only possible reason for the main opposition losing the upcoming general elections.
Speaking at a conclave of BJP's Legal and Legislative Cell, the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha indicated that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should be declared BJP's PM candidate.
Enumerating the various problems plaguing the UPA government, he said, "Leadership is another issue affecting this (UPA) government. There is no effective leadership in UPA. Due to this people are looking at BJP".
He stressed that the sooner BJP announced its Prime Ministerial candidate, the better it would be for the party.
"Parliamentary elections at times become like presidential elections, especially when the leader enjoys overwhelming popularity. This has happened in the case of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in the past," Jaitley said.
He pointed out that if the next general election became a referendum on leadership, then BJP was surely going to win.
However, he cautioned that any controversy over the leadership issue could cost BJP the elections.
"We should not get a hit-wicket. That is a scenario where nobody bowls you out, but you give your own wicket. That is the only way we are going to lose this election," he said, adding that the party should not create any "unnecessary controversy" on the leadership issue.
He said BJP has lost two consecutive elections but the mood at present was in BJP's favour.