New Delhi, Jan. 18: The BJP today picked on P. Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh's comments on the Congress's prospects in the 2014 elections and claimed they reflected the ruling party's morale.
Shortly before the Chintan Shivir, the finance minister, in reply to a question on the Congress's comeback chances in the next Lok Sabha election, said: "Realistically speaking, no party is in a position to get an absolute majority but that doesn't mean we are not going to aim for it."
The rural development minister was more forthright. Answering a similar query, Ramesh said he thought the Congress would not make it on its own because of "structural" issues.
At a media briefing shortly after Congress president Sonia Gandhi finished addressing the Chintan Shivir, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said: "For a national party, prior to election year, to start its review with an admission that they cannot come to power on their own is a very good start. It is an admission of failure."
When Nirmala was asked if the BJP could pull off a majority, she said: "It is one thing to talk of a coalition era, of coalition politics and another to make such admissions."
Slamming Sonia's speech virtually on every aspect, she remarked when the Congress could not "gain the respect" of its present allies, where was the question of netting new partners (as Sonia said)?
Nirmala said: "Sonia Gandhi's speech is already giving signs that the Congress is missing an opportunity. An honest review does not seem to be in the offing. She has failed to acknowledge that the government lacks leadership, integrity and a sense of direction…. Sonia Gandhi accepted that the failure to give jobs to one crore Indians was a challenge."
Asked how the BJP could claim to be uncompromising on corruption when it was set to renominate Nitin Gadkari, involved in financial controversy involving his business interests, as president for a second time, she did not reply.