India does not need "a bleeder or a pleader" as PM, Congress today said hitting back at BJP leaders Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley for dubbing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "just a reader and not a leader".
Congress spokesperson Shashi Tharoor also questioned Jaitley's attack on Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and said why BJP was targeting a "private individual", who is neither a member of a political party nor a candidate in this Lok Sabha polls. Tharoor's remark came after Jaitley posted stinging remarks on his blog against Singh and Vadra.
The BJP leader today took potshots at Singh in his blog saying the Prime Minister "walked on snow, but did not leave any footprints", a day after PMO sought to counter the perception that Singh has been weak" in his tenure, He wrote that in response to controversy created by two recently published books including the one by PM's former Media Adviser Sanjaya Baru, the PMO has clarified that in the last 10 years, the Prime Minister had delivered around 1,200 speeches. "The PMO thought that this would counter the charge that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not a 'speaking' Prime Minister... He must be heard with attention. He must be a leader and not just a reader," Jaitley said.
Targeting Vadra he wrote, "start a business without any investment. Investment will flow as loans and advances which is a synonym for political equity. Use these loans to buy property at fraction of the market cost."
"Congratulations to Mr Robert Vadra. He has made it to the Wall Street Journal. The Vadra business model requires the research paper to be prepared by a key business analyst," Jaitley wrote.
Responding to Jaitley's charge on PM, Tharoor said, "We need a Prime Minister to be a leader and not to be a bleeder, someone who bleeds the nation rather than leading it. We do not need a bleeder or a pleader."
Congress has been using the "bleeder" terminology in an obvious reference to 2002 post-Godhara riots in Gujarat, which it has been raking up to target Modi for quite some time.
Regarding Jaitley's attack on Vadra, he said, "I am astonished that BJP such high respect for the foreign press... Vadra is a private individual and not a candidate in these elections. He said that BJP was resorting to this to counter the strong campaign by the Gandhis against him.
Asking BJP to focus on political opponents and not private individuals, he said that if any one has violated the law, legal process will naturally take place.
On Sanjay Barus' book, Tharoor said there were fundamental contradictions in it and while Baru hails the Prime Minister's qualities and virtues in UPA-I, when he was Singh's media advisor, he suddenly finds that the PM is subservient PM in UPA-II, when he was not in the PMO. "Let us not overreact to a commercially well-timed book," which he said is an "outsider's comments grafted on an insider's account" as Baru was "not an insider in 2008".