Chennai: Terming today's BJP a party that does not follow and respect political ethics, former Union minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said the Congress needed youngsters with the “spirit of warrior” to join Rahul Gandhi in opposing the ruling party at the Centre.
Addressing the centenary celebrations of senior party leader Maragatham Chandrashekhar at Sathyamurthy Bhavan here, Chidambaram, who has emerged as the top spokesman of the Congress party on financial issues like demonetisation and GST, said there were “rumblings” among leaders within BJP on the functioning of the party and government under the “new leadership.”
“One should understand that today's BJP is not like the party functioned when A. B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani steered the ship. Today's BJP does not follow and respect political ethics. Leaders like Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie have already spoken against the government and some MPs are also beginning to speak up,” the former Union home and finance Minister told the gathering.
Sinha and Shourie, who had held several portfolios in the Vajpayee government between 1998-2004, had criticised the Modi government on several economic issues despite being members of the BJP.
Chidambaram, who was seated next to his bete noire in the party and former TNCC chief EVKS Elangovan at the event, has been at the forefront in attacking the BJP and the Narendra Modi dispensation on a slew of issues like demonetisation, GST, intolerance and handling of situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The senior Congress leader has been saying that India might lose its “tolerant” tag just because of the “intolerant” attitude of the BJP and its affiliated outfits.
“If we have to take on today's BJP like the way Rahul Gandhi has declared a war in his new avatar, we need youngsters with the spirit of a warrior and who can give a war cry in all states, all cities and all towns,” Chidambaram said. He was referring to the new avatar of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president, whose attacks on the BJP and Modi have become sharp after his speech at a university in the United States.
Elangovan, who also spoke at the event, predicted that the country would go for snap polls within six months after which Rahul Gandhi would become the Prime Minister.
“The Congress will register massive victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh belying all predictions and I am sure Rahul Gandhi will take over as the Prime Minister soon,” Elangovan said.