Never in the past, Prime Ministerial candidates had become a major issue in the Lok Sabha polls like this time when gloves are off from rival sides.
Prime ministerial candidates of all hues have become the favourite punching bags like never before, be it Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the UPA or Leader of the Opposition LK Advani of the NDA.
The field is wide open in the Third Front for the top job but the alliance is itself being poked fun at over the ticklish issue.
Not a day passes when rival sides fail to target the Prime Ministerial candidates with BJP projecting Singh as a "weak" leader and Congress hitting back showing the "dismal" record of Advani as Home Minister.
Singh has been challenged by the BJP for a TV debate and the 76-year-old leader, who recently underwent a bypass surgery, is being asked by the saffron forces that why he was not contesting the Lok Sabha elections.
While the Third Front is projecting no leader as the Prime Ministerial candidate, the grouping is itself being ridiculed as an alliance still in search of a Prime Minister.
Targeting the fledgling Third Front on the issue of Prime Ministerial candidature, leaders of both the UPA and the NDA claim that it would collapse like a pack of cards on the leadership issue with several ambitious politicians in its ranks waiting for the 'big'opportunity.