Sambalpur: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Monday questioned the prudence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issuing direction that either Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee or Home Minister P. Chidambaram should remain in Delhi to look after the day-to-day affairs of the Government in his absence.
“As per practice, the Prime Minister can appoint one or two Deputy Prime Ministers to assist him. But there cannot be two Number-2 Ministers. Until today, we knew that Pranab Mukherjee was No. 2. But, as media reports suggest, Manmohan Singh’s strange decision is aimed at demolishing the powers of the No. 2,” Mr. Advani said while addressing a press conference here.
The BJP veteran said, “By nominating Mr. Chidambaram as one of the No. 2 Ministers, the PM wanted to thwart the probe into the 2G Spectrum scam in which the latter’s name figured. Anarchy and chaos has plagued the UPA Government. It is in a state of paralysis. It cannot take decisions on its own. In Telengana issue, it has sought two months time allowing the agitation to continue and young people committing suicide for the cause”.
Stating that the UPA Government was continuously disregarding the federal structure of the country, the BJP veteran said, the Central Government has no right to discriminate a State Government. Claiming that his current yatra has garnered bigger public response than his previous five yatras, Mr. Advani said, failure of the UPA Government in governance and bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks were the reasons for the people’s massive support.
The BJP leader, as usual, appeared reticent on the ruling BJD in Orissa. “I do not want to comment on any State Government or Chief Minister. As regards Orissa, he (Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik) broke the ties with us without any information. However, I believe our State leaders are unsparing about the Government here. I will not prevent them from doing so,” Mr. Advani said.
When asked if there is a possibility of BJP enrolling BJD into the NDA fold, Mr. Advani said, “I’ m not ruling out anything. But, as I understand, the relationship between the two is very much tense here.”