New Delhi: The BJP on Sunday sought to link Rahul Gandhi's elevation as the Congress vice president to "family inheritance", and said he sounded like a leader of the opposition in his first speech after assuming the new role.

Speaking at a function in Bangalore, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley took a dig at Rahul Gandhi and said that world's largest democracy cannot be put to risk by "risking ourselves" in the hands of those whose actual potential and whose policy and opinion on various issues was not known.

Jaitley, who did not name Rahul Gandhi, stated that the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate would be selected on the basis of his leadership abilities and not on "family inheritance". He said the best among BJP leaders will become "the first amongst equals" and will not be chosen on name, surname or a family claim of inheritance. He said the leader will be chosen only on the basis of his proven ability.

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused the Congress of practising dynastic politics. "They need to understand the difference between a party where the Prime Ministerial candidate is born in a cradle and the one where he is born out of hard work and valour," Naqvi said in New Delhi.

He claimed that the purpose of the Congress' introspection meeting in Jaipur was the elevation of Rahul Gandhi. Naqvi said the meeting was also aimed at controlling damage over allegations of corruption, misgovernance and inflation against the United Progressive Alliance government.

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's speech at the Congress conclave, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said he spoke like a leader of the opposition and not as someone from the ruling party. Sitharaman said that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had also spoken about the need for the Congress to get out of the mould of power brokers.

She said Rahul Gandhi had spoken a great deal of idealism. "I hope he is able to implement it in his own party first," Sitharaman added.


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