The appointment of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi as the party’s vice-president is a move to convert the world’s largest democracy in to a dynastic one, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley said on Sunday.

Speaking at a convention of advocates organised by the BJP here, he said leaders of the BJP were decided purely on the basis of tried, tested and proven ability; on the contrary, the Congress risked democracy by appointing a person whose “actual potential is not known.” Persons such as Narendra Modi, Raman Singh and Shivaraj Singh Chouhan became leaders due to their performance and not because of the “surnames” they inherited.

Mr. Jaitley said the three-day Congress meet in Jaipur sought to trace the reason for the disenchantment of the middle class. “But it is not the middle class alone; every section of society is disenchanted with the performance of United Progressive Alliance government.”

Besides other sections of society, the new aspiring class that had the “hunger for growth” was disappointed with the policies of the UPA. The Jaipur meet failed to provide solutions to issues such as spiralling prices of essential commodities, non-governance and growing corruption.

The only answer the Congress found to all these problems was converting the world’s largest democracy into a dynastic democracy. “Fortunately, in this country, public opinion is alert and will never get misguided by the response of the kind.” It was only in a feudal society that inheritance gave one the right to govern. In a democracy, it was proven ability that gave that right.

The BJP would gain significance under the circumstances, as “we are a structured political party.”

‘Exceptions to phenomenon’

The “dynasty phenomenon” was evident from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu. Capability and ideas took a back seat and political strength of the top political families came to the forefront. “Nevertheless, structured BJP and Left parties are exceptions to the phenomenon,” he said.

Mr. Jaitley slammed the UPA government on various issues, including the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops, the recent brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year old student in Delhi, Naxal upsurge and insurgency.Favouring a National Judicial Commission, he said its formation would help in the appointment of judges to a greater extent. “I hope the United Progressive Alliance government will take the initiative in this regard. The country is failing the test of civility and there is need for a total reform of the legal system. The real challenge was to increase the number of judges and setting up fast track courts.”