Cong questions Shah’s appointment, BJP says the opposition is frustrated

Cong told to find causes of poll loss, wake up sleeping leaders

New Delhi : BJP on Wednesday slammed Congress for questioning the appointment of Amit Shah as its chief, saying it reflects frustration of the Opposition party which is still reeling under the defeat of the Lok Sabha polls.

BJP said Congress should look inwards and conduct an introspection into why it lost the elections and wake up Rahul Gandhi who is sleeping rather than interfering in the affairs of other parties.

“This reflects their frustration,” BJP’s media cell in-charge Shrikant Sharma said after Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned whether BJP had “limited talent” that it was forced to go in for an accused in a murder charge for the top post.

Sharma said Congress, when in power, had misused investigating agencies and levelled allegations against Shah “which it has been unable to prove in court of law”. “Since it lost power, Congress has been only levelling allegations against BJP. They should look inwards and conduct an introspection into the reasons of defeat and wake up its sleeping leaders,” he said.

BJP accused the Congress of attempting to “cover up corruption and bad governance that dominated the UPA rule”. “The Congress should first do some introspection of its defeat and find out the reasons, including the assessment of its appeasement policies as enumerated by former Defence Minister A K Antony. Rahul Gandhi is sleeping and Congress should first wake him up,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Congress raked up the issue of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case to attack BJP over the naming of Amit Shah as the new party chief and asked whether there was “limited talent” in the saffron outfit that it had appointed an accused to the top post.

“The nation is absolutely mystified that BJP has found no better person and fallen back on a murder accused on bail and externed for two years from a part of India. Do they have limited talent,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.

Singhvi said that although Congress is “not normally interested, nor comments” on internal appointments of other parties, he was reacting on this issue as it was “unprecedented” for a party in power to make an appointment of such a person.

Singhvi said he was reacting on the basis of ‘objective facts’ and remarked that Shah could not go to his native state of Gujarat between 2010 and 2012 because of his ‘externment’.

The Congress reaction came hours after Shah — who ensured a handsome showing for BJP in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections — was appointed the BJP president, marking Gujarat’s firm grip over the ruling dispensation after Narendra Modi’s elevation as Prime Minister.

Shah, a close aide of Modi, was appointed to the BJP top post at a meeting of the party’s Parliamentary Board where incumbent Rajnath Singh resigned following a tenure of one-and -a-half years.

The Aam Aadmi Party also termed the appointment of Shah as a ‘wrong precedent for the country’s democracy’ and said the ruling party had lowered the “minimum moral qualification” required for leaders to head political parties.

“The appointment of Amit Shah to the post of BJP national president was a wrong precedent for the country’s democracy, which should have been avoided by the ruling party. “By appointing Shah as its chief, BJP has lowered the minimum moral qualification required for leaders to head major political parties in the country. It is difficult to recall any other example in which a leader who faced serious criminal charges including murder, extortion and kidnapping was anointed as chief of a national political party,” the party said in a statement.

The party also said it viewed the development as a “sad day for democracy”.

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