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PM should contest for Lok Sabha seat: Advani


Ahmedabad : The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani said Friday that Manmohan Singh should muster the courage to contest polls from a Lok Sabha seat instead of seeking re-election from the Rajya Sabha to become the country’s prime minister.

“I would support a constitutional amendment in which the prime minister of the country could be elected only from the Lok Sabha and not the Rajya Sabha,” Advani said while addressing his first public gathering in Ahmedabad to kick off the BJP’s campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat.

Taking a dig at the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Advani said: “I don’t call the UPA as Manmohan Singh government, it is Sonia Gandhi’s (Congress president) government.”

“I had very good relations with Dr Singh when he was not the prime minister. I am not angry with him now, but I pity him,” Advani said.

“The Congress used to be the biggest political party in the country after Independence. These days the Congress has reached a situation where the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh wishes to offer only six seats to the party for the coming Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

On the issue of coastal security, Advani said India has a coastline of 7,750 km, of which 1,600 km is in Gujarat.

During the National Democratic alliance (NDA) regime at the centre a sum of Rs.400 crore was sanctioned by the NDA government for implementing a Special Coastline Security Scheme. When the UPA came to power at the centre in 2004, the sanctioned amount was reduced to Rs.50 crore, he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking on the occasion, said that it is a tragic coincidence that the Harshad Mehta scam of 1994 happened at a time when Manmohan Singh was the Union finance minister. Now the Satyam Computer Services fraud has happened at a time when Manmohan Singh is the prime minister of the country.

“Advaniji rightly said that Manmohan Singh is a weak prime minister as there is a minister in the prime minister’s cabinet whom he could not remove even after he refused to attend cabinet meetings for the last five years,” he added.