As India prepares for elections, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) terming its economic policies as retrograde and “blood-eyed” and asked why its PM candidate Narendra Modi had never fielded a Muslim candidate.
He expressed confidence that Rahul Gandhi would be the PM if the Congress comes back to power, saying the young leader has enough “fire in his belly” for the post.
It was unlikely that any party would get majority and polls were likely to throw a “very very fractured mandate”, he said.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting here, Chidambaram also took a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), saying there was no place for mob-democracy in India and the country was a party-based democracy where individuals cannot be bigger than a party.
On the BJP being “anti-Muslim”, Chidambaram said some sections of Muslim people may have voted for the BJP, as Modi himself claims, but the fact is that Modi has never fielded any Muslim candidate ever in any election in his state. “What does that mean,” he said.
When asked why he has not joined the BJP, Chidambaram said the BJP does not represent all sections of India and it does not even have presence in many parts of the country.
“It has got policies that would destroy the very idea of India. Their’s is a blood-eyed economic model,” he said.
Asked about the next PM, Chidambaram said, “...Congress party is clear that if the Congress is in a position to form a government it will be headed by Rahul Gandhi.”
In 2004, Sonia Gandhi was elected leader, but the next day she declined and another leader was chosen. That model has worked, but that does not mean that we will have same model again, he said.
“If the Congress is called to form the government, I’m pretty certain in my mind that Rahul Gandhi will be the Prime Minister,” he said.
Asked whether Rahul had enough fire in his belly for the PM post, Chidambaram said: “There was enough fire in his belly when he spoke at the AICC meeting.”