New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apparently not ruling himself out for a third term in the top post on Friday drew a sharp reaction from BJP which said he "has shown his true colours" and insisted the people are not ready to give this "scam-tainted, corrupt government" another chance.

"Obviously, Manmohan Singh, the reluctant politician, has shown his true colours a few days after Holi and has indicated that he is audaciously ambitious," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Singh, in his interaction with the media on his return home from the BRICS summit in Durban on Thursday, appeared not to rule out another term for himself as Prime Minister.

BJP maintained that the functioning of Singh as Prime Minister in the last nine years is "certainly a matter of public concern" and pointed out that several scams and "monumental corruption" have taken place with alarming regularity during his rule. "The lacklustre, non-performing leadership of Manmohan Singh, involved in so many massive scams, some of which lead directly to his door steps, is not what the people of the country want or deserve and that too for a third term. India certainly deserves better and Indians are waiting for the opportunity to make it happen," Prasad said.

The main opposition also took potshots at Singh and the Congress party on the issue of Prime Ministership. "Whether the comment of Manmohan Singh is more aimed at his foes in Congress or to put a question mark on Rahul Gandhi’s claim for the post of Prime Minister, for which a consistent chorus is going on within Congress, is entirely the internal matter of Congress," Prasad said.

Gandhi had recently maintained that asking him about Prime Ministership is putting a "wrong question" to him. BJP maintained that with the current account deficit touching an all-time high of 6.7 percent, India's growth story "is practically over". Prasad said this figure is higher than that of 1991 when the Indian economy was in a crisis.

"The people may despair the very idea of even remotely enduring Singh as Prime Minister for five more years," he said. The main opposition charged that inflation, bad governance, policy paralysis and lack of accountability has made the life of all sections of the society miserable.

"Even trade and industrial bodies are raising critical questions about the manner in which India is governed," Prasad said, adding India's image has been "dented" in the international fora.


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