PM was referring to somebody else: Jaitley

Arun Jaitley
New Delhi, Mar 25: Two days after the Prime Minister took potshots at their senior leader L K Advani, BJP today hit back saying when Manmohan Singh stated their leader treated the top post as his birth-right he was actually referring to the "dynastic politics prevalent" in Congress.

"When the Prime Minister addressed Mr Advani to suggest that the latter thinks it is his birthright, I think he was addressing somebody else. Neither Mr Advani nor BJP believes in dynastic politics," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters.

Jaitley was alluding to the Nehru-Gandhi family's hold over Congress.

"Democratic parties elect leaders on the basis of merit and never accept the concept of birthright. It is only parties which work on the concept of succession talk of birthright," Jaitley said.

BJP''s silence on the attack on its leader by Singh in the Lok Sabha had raised eyebrows. No BJP member got up in the House to counter the Prime Minister nor was any party leader ready to speak on this issue for the past two days.

In his reply to the debate on the WikiLeaks revelations of bribing of MPs by the ruling party in 2008 to win the trust vote, Singh had said in the Lok Sabha that "the main opposition party, right from the year 2004, has adopted the attitude that we are a usurper. Advaniji believes that being Prime Minister was his birth right and therefore, he has never forgiven me."

While the Treasury Benches were in splits, the opposition had kept silent.

"All I can say to Advaniji is that people of India have voted us to power in free and fair elections. Please wait for another three and half years," Singh added.

Advani, who was present in the House, let the matter go with a wry smile on his face.

Singh's comment, along with his use of a couplet by poet Iqbal, had taken the sting out of the Opposition attack and swayed the debate in the government's favour.


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