In an apparent bid to trigger a row within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday said leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj would make a much better Prime Minister than Narendra Modi, the official nominee of BJP for the top post.
In a quick reaction to Singh's remark, the BJP said the party didn't need an advice from a man who could not "dare" to fight Lok Sabha election and had been involved in his party's three consecutive defeats in Madhya Pradesh.
Earlier, talking to reporters at his residence, Singh said unlike Modi, Sushma Swaraj had an image of a moderate leader.
He furthur said that Sushma would be "more acceptable to allies" of the BJP in the NDA in the same way like (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"Sushma has conducted herself as the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha in a very dignified manner, although it was under her leadership that the Lower House of Parliament had faced maximum number of disruptions," he said, adding that he did not agree with her on many issues raised by her in the Lok Sabha.
To a question if he would contest the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi as is being speculated, Digvijaya said he was only a worker of the Congress and its leadership would decide from where he would contest the poll.
Rebuffing Singh's remark, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Our party has taken a decision after due deliberations. We don't need his advice. But let me ask him who is his party's PM candidate? The courtiers in Congress backed Rahul Gandhi for it but he did not accept the challenge."
Prasad said even the Congress no longer took Singh seriously. He said the Congress was apprehensive that its "corrupt" deeds would be exposed when a Modi-led BJP government comes to power so it had projected AAP to divert people's attention.
Prasad said Congress was apprehensive that its "corrupt" deeds would be exposed when a Modi-led BJP government comes to power so it has projected AAP to divert people's attentions.
"Country needs a stable government. Country needs a government with commitment to transparency... And the BJP government will provide this," he said.
Swaraj has not responded to Singh's remarks so far. She had earlier hit back at him for a similar comment, saying he would also be a better PM candidate than Rahul Gandhi.