Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Sunday took a dig at the Congress for not announcing their prime ministerial candidate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, claiming the decision has little to do with the party’s tradition, and is more out of “fear” at losing the polls.
In her address at the National Council meeting at the Ramlila ground in New Delhi, Ms. Swaraj said the BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, looked poised to win more than 272 seats needed for clear majority in the Lok Sabha. The BJP leader predicted that the Congress Party will face a drubbing, similar to the one it faced in the recently concluded Assembly elections in three states.
As for the Congress’ tradition of going to polls without a prime ministerial nominee she said, it was a “drama”, which the country has seen after the 2004 poll results when Congress president Sonia Gandhi turned down the top job on account of her “inner voice” and instead nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister.
“This is a party which hears the voice of conscience a bit too late and realises its tradition a bit too late,” Ms. Swaraj quipped. She also moved the political resolution which was adopted by the party’s National Council.
Attacking the Congress-led UPA government for failing to take the growth forward, she said, the UPA government had inherited an economy growing at a “robust 8.4 per cent” from the NDA government, but over the years under the leadership of Dr. Singh, the economic growth has been reduced it to a 4.5 per cent. “We gave you a full glass, but you have done the job of emptying it,” she said.
Taking pot shots at the Congress leadership, particularly vice president Rahul Gandhi, she accused him of misleading the people by claiming credit for the passage of the Food Security Bill, the Right for Information and the Lokpal Act.
“The truth is that we sat together till 10 p.m., cooperated and passed the Food Security Bill. Rahulji alleged that we [BJP] don't let Parliament run. I want to ask him, has he ever attended Lok Sabha sessions; why is he spreading rumours." Ms. Swaraj retorted.
She charged the UPA government with denting India’s image by failing to reign in corruption and taking India’s relations with the neighbours to an all time low. Citing example of Indian woman diplomat Devyani Khobragade, she said it showed the “complete drift” in management of India’s foreign policy.
She also accused the Congress of spearheading a malicious campaign spread over the past 12 years against Mr. Modi. She said that Mr. Modi has been “objective of the motivated campaign” based on “falsehood and fabrication”.