NEW DELHI: Known for his gaffes, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal created yet another flutter in political circles on Sunday with his comment that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul do not vie for the Prime Minister’s post because they can make “anybody Prime Minister for 10 years”.
“Sonia and Rahul make prime minister, and so they don’t run after the chair. They can make anybody PM for 10 years... the politics of Rahul begins where the politics of other party leaders ends,” Jaiswal said in a thinly- veiled reference to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“People are mistaken that they will be in the driving seat, but whenever such inexperienced people get it (the PM’s post), accidents have occurred. The Congress is in the driving seat and the organisation and the person sitting in this seat have to be alert… therefore be alert, you have to sit in the driving seat, no other can sit there,” he said at a meeting of All India Trade Union Congress (INTUC) in Lucknow.
This is not the first time that Jaiswal has embarrassed the party leadership with his unequivocal praise for the Congress’ first family. Last year, the Kanpur MP had said at a rally in Mathura that Rahul could become Prime Minister “ even at midnight if he so desires”.
The Coal Minister went on to attack Gujarat Chief Minister and chairman of BJP’s Election Campaign Committee, Narendra Modi, for nursing prime ministerial ambition.
“There are people who are roaming all over to become PM. In fact they are observing brahmcharya (celibacy) to get this post,” he said.
Reacting to Jaiswal’s statement, state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai said, “Modi is clearly a nightmare for our rivals. If Jaiswal believes that Sonia and Rahul can make anybody PM then why is he suffering from Modi phobia?” “He has also made it clear that they (Congress ministers) do not respect (PM) Manmohan Singh. They call him just ‘ anybody’ because Sonia and Rahul for them are above all constitutional posts.
They would have reacted sharply if we had said any such thing. But now they themselves are saying that the PM is nobody,” he said.
Another BJP leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh said the Congress leaders are targeting Modi as he is the most popular leader of the country.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.