New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday took potshots at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks that he was ready to be the prime minister, saying the Congress president, who is harbouring "lofty dreams" despite his party's losing spree, should first try to win state elections.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said while it is Gandhi's right to "dream" about becoming the prime minister, even Congress' allies were not accepting him as their leader. He reminded Gandhi that after he became Congress vice president, "his party lost 13 states and after he took over as party president, it has lost five states and Karnataka will be the sixth one".
"Look at the irony, Congress is losing state after state ever since Gandhi took over as party's vice president and then party chief. But he is dreaming to become the prime minister. Even Congress' allies are not accepting him as their leader," Hussain told reporters.
The BJP leader emphasised that the country will once again elect Narendra Modi as their prime minister.
"Aakhir dil ki baat zubaan par aa hi gayi (Finally what was in his heart has come out)," Hussain said on Gandhi's remarks.
"It is good to see that he has such lofty dreams. It is his right. But, to become the prime minister, he has to win some, at least some state elections and make chief ministers of his choice. Under his leadership, the party is not winning any state election and he is dreaming of becoming the prime minister," he said.
The BJP leader claimed that Congress was facing defeat in Karnataka. "Rahul Gandhi will hit a sixer after losing Karnataka," he said, adding the Congress has already lost "five states" after he became party president.
Hussain was responding to Gandhi's remarks in Bangalore on Tuesday that he is ready to become the prime minister if his party emerges as the "biggest" party after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhi said he is "pretty confident" that Narendra Modi would not be the next prime minister.
If the Congress acts as a "platform" (with other parties in a coalition), the BJP does not stand a chance of winning the elections, he said at a function where he launched the 'Samruddha Bharat Foundation'.
Union minister Smriti Irani also reacted to Gandhi's statement and said that the Congress chief "thinks about himself" while Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah thought about the country.
Modi Ji & Amit Shah are worried about future of people of this country while Rahul ji thinks about himself. He said if his party comes to power he'll be the PM in 2019. A person who doesn't trust his own leadership & ability, how can he expect people to trust him?: Smriti Irani pic.twitter.com/4DFUu6SRA6
— ANI (@ANI) May 8, 2018
Amit Malviya, BJP's IT cell chief, also reacted to Gandhi's statements with a tweet.
Rahul Gandhi is dreaming of 2019. Has Congress given up on Karnataka? Is he anticipating that knives would be out for him on 15th as under his leadership the Congress would have lost yet another state (I seem to have lost the count)... — Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) May 8, 2018
It was not just BJP members who lashed out at Gandhi for his remark. Rebel Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla also hit out at Gandhi, saying, "Rahul hasn't performed".
In 2013 Power was poison for Rahul Gandhi In 2018 Power is necessary for Rahul
Is PM's post reserved only for 1 family?
Manish Tewari rightly told me "it's a family run proprietorship" hence neither party nor allies consulted! Rahul hasn't performed why should he be a PM choice? pic.twitter.com/XhMNl7htmu
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) May 8, 2018
However, former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha president Jitam Ram Manjhi said he will support Gandhi for the post of prime minister.
"I will support Rahul Gandhi for PM in 2019 if Congress emerges (as the) single largest party, but before that, a broader consensus within the anti-BJP alliance needs to be formed," India Today quoted Manjhi as saying.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 08, 2018 19:36 PM