Narendra Modi's claim of development vision was contested by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today with a telling question: Why did he 'block' the GST recommended by his own party colleague Sushil Kumar Modi.
"Forget all claims of being apostle of development and bringing storm of development if made Prime Minister, I wish to ask one simple question to Narendra Modi why did he block the GST which his party colleague and former Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi as its chairman had recommended," Ramesh told reporters.
"GST first mooted by the then Finance minister Yashwant Sinha and for which Sushil Modi worked tirelessly would have been in place but for BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who is the 'biggest stumbling block' of the important legislation," Ramesh said.
Seeking to create wedge between the two BJP leaders, the senior Congress leader asked "isn't it NaMO sabotaged SuMO efforts?"
Ramesh, considered close to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and a strategist for him, dismissed election survey reports projecting lower seats for Congress and a surge for BJP.
"Similar surveys went wrong in 2004 as well 2009 and saw Congress led UPA to power," he said.
"Such surveys keep coming...there is political agenda behind such surveys," he added.
Asked if Rahul Gandhi would be obvious choice for the Prime Ministership if Congress is voted back to power, Ramesh, flanked by PCC chief Ashok Chaudhary, said he has already said that if MPs elect him, he will have no problem in discharging the responsibility.
In reply to a question that he was considered as "Super Chief Minister" of Jharkhand, Ramesh rubbished it and said "had it been so he would not have allowed transfer industries to flourish there."
"I am just a member of coordination committee in Jharkhand and out of 10 suggestion I make, not more than five or six are accepted," he said.
Asked about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said they are good in organising agitation but not administration.
"The past two weeks of action of Arvind Kejriwal has made it clear that AAP is only good in organising andolan (agitation) and not government."
Asked to make comments on Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde calling Kejriwal "mad CM", he said "ask this to Shinde saheb."
With PCC chief Ashok Chaudhary and other state leaders sitting by his side, Ramesh praised Chaudhary for "re-energising the party in the state."
"He is no pushover and decision are not imposed on him at Delhi rather he is heard on every issue."