New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Is an extempore speech by a politician the real yardstick for him to prove his talent? It is so for the BJP which today asked the newly appointed Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi to make such a speech.
''Mr Rahul Gandhi has been an MP for more than three and a half years but has not spoken even for as many minutes in the Lok Sabha,'' BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra told newspersons.
He said it applied to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also who always read out the speeches written for them by somebody else.
When pointed out that the Prime Minister had spoken extempore several times, Mr Malhotra said all those speeches were in English and not in Hindi, at least he could make extempore speeches in his own mother tounge as Late M. Kamraj used to do.
''I don't say that it is the only yardstick to know about somebody's talent but it is one of the properties a leader must have to prove his talent before the people,'' the BJP leader said.
He also referred to a comment by Mr Rahul Gandhi at Lucknow during his first visit to the city after becoming the party's general secretary that 'he can speak and he will speak'.
What prompted Mr Malhotra to challenge Mr Rahul Gandhi to deliver an extempore speech was that the city, particularly the NDMC area, was dotted with Rahul's hoardings for the past more than a week and even after the one-day Congress Maha Adhiveshan was over.
He said NDMC did not allow BJP to put any posters and hoardings in its area citing the directives of the Supreme Court and the High Court. ''Why does it not apply the same directives to the Congress?'' he said, adding perhaps this leeway had been given to the Congress being in power.
Mr Malhotra also objected to Mr Rahul Gandhi being projected by by Congressmen as the future of the country. It was wrong to project anybody or a family as the future of such a vast democracy, he asserted.