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BJP raises questions over Rahul's potential

delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2013 19:25 IST

BJP on Sunday reacted to Rahul Gandhi's appointment as the Congress vice president by raising questions over his potential, saying it has to be seen whether the nation accepts him as a leader on the basis of "family inhritance".

"The world's largest democracy cannot be put to risk by risking ourselves in the hands of those whose actual potential we do not know, whose opinion on various subject we do not know, whose policy with regard to various issues we do not know," BJP leader Arun Jaitely told a gathering in Bangalore.

Without naming Gandhi, he said that BJP's own leader will be selected on basis of his leadership abilities and not on the basis of "family inheritance".

"The best among us will become the first amongst equals. He will not be on the (basis of) name or surname or a family claim of inheritance. He will be only on the basis of his proven ability," Jaitley said.

BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was more candid in his criticism.

"At their place (Congress), the Prime Ministerial candidate is born in a cradle but here (BJP) he is born out of hard work and valour. They need to understand the difference between a party where PM candidate is born in a cradle and the one where he is born out of hard work and valour," Naqvi told reporters in New Delhi.

Asked to comment on Congress' point of view that Rahul Gandhi is a national leader, he said it will be decided by the people.

Naqvi also alleged that the purpose of Congress Chintan Shivir was only aimed at elevating Gandhi.

"To me it feels more like a program for the yuvraj (Gandhi) than a Chitan Shivir. Congress can make him international leader, it is their wish. What is more important here is the nation's acceptance. Only people will decide whether he is national or international leader," he said.

On whether Gandhi's appointment will help Congress in future, Naqvi said, "Who is stopping them (Congress) from making him (Gandhi) the (party) President. It does not make any difference to a party where a thought begins from Sonia Gandhi's residence and ends at Rahul Gandhi's lawns."

Naqvi also took a dig at the Congress' Jaipur session and termed it a damage control exercise by its leaders.

"Congress's Chintan Shivir is nothing but an attempt to make mountain out of a molehill. It's a damage control exercise of a defaulter, defamed and destructive government and party," he said.

Naqvi also attacked Congress over its "failed" promises to bring down inflation, provide jobs to youngsters and improve country's economic condition.

"But during their government inflation instead of coming down has started to touch the sky ... unemployment has become rampant... Indian rupee has become weak and dollar has become stronger," he said.