Pranab Mukherjee would have been abetter choice for the post of Prime Minister but the Congress chose Manmohan Singh as "night watchman" as it was worried that his success could affect the future of Gandhi family, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi suggested on Sunday.
"Did the Congress party not have the ability to give another Prime Minister (other than Singh)? But they did not want to," he said while taking a swipe at the leadership of Manmohan Singh.
Addressing a BJP conclave in New Delhi, he suggested that Mukherjee, a veteran Congress leader who became the President last July, could have been a better Prime Minister.
"Had Pranab Mukherjee been made the Prime Minister in place of Manmohan Singh then perhaps there would not have suffered so much damage as he is more connected to the ground, understands the problems and can think about the solutions," Modi said.
".... But if Mukherjee had been successful then the worry of Congress was what will happen to the (Gandhi) family. So they put the country in the hands of somebody as a night watchman," he said amidst his strong attack on the Congress rule.
He said Singh, an economist, had been appointed as the Prime Minister as a "buffer".
Contending that Congress does not allow anybody else than the Gandhi family to be the leader, Modi referred to the fate Sitaram Kesri met as the party President and said he was unceremoniously thrown out of office.
He also took a dig at the Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council, saying it was a grouping of "five-star activists" created to prevent the Prime Minister from performing.
"These people (NAC) members have a total disconnect with the people," Modi said.