Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Friday said the “acceptability” of his party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi within India and among the diaspora had improved due to the latter’s track record in governance and “decisive leadership quality.”
The “unease, almost bordering on disillusionment” with the Congress-led UPA government is building up in India and among the diaspora about “decisions not being taken, corruption souring India’s image and leadership not being inspirational,” said Jaitley.
“In most sections, Modi’s stock is quite high… (People) look at him as somebody (with) proven track record in governance and are looking for a decisive leadership quality,” he said.
“That has hugely improved his acceptability. In short, the impression outside and inside the country is not very different,”
On the issue of Modi being denied a US visa, Jaitley said the visa issue was not for the Gujarat chief minister to take up with the US.
“The fact that an elected representative of India can be denied a visa by the US is failure of India’s foreign policy. It is an issue not for Modi to take up, it is an issue which should be directly of concern to the government of India.
Regrettably it has not been so,” he said.
“Since 2005, Modi has not applied for a (US) visa. My advice to him is not to apply for a visa.”
Regarding the 2014 general elections, Jaitley said that “for a strong NDA, we need a strong BJP.”
“The moment the BJP has a critical mass in terms of number of seats, pre-and-post-electoral allies are inevitable. If the BJP is not strong, then we cannot hope for a stronger NDA. If the BJP is weak, then obviously we cannot hope to have too many allies.”
On the “nose-diving” economic growth in India, Jaitley said the “alibi” for failure of the economy “typically by this government” has been that the global economy is doing badly.
“The current crisis in India is substantially domestic and has little to do with the overall global situation,” he said.
Jaitley said India had a large domestic consumption, due to which it had been able to defy negative global trends during the east Asia and sub-prime crisis.
He said the investor confidence in India has nose-dived because “the investment cycle is broken.”
“The challenge for the new government (at the Centre) will be to recreate the investment cycle in India.”
He said in the wake of various corruption scandals in the country, foreign investors “literally” saw their investment being “confiscated.”
“Who would like to invest in a country which confiscates investments because the government indulged in dishonesty?” Jaitley added.