BJP-backed Presidential poll candidate PA Sangma today targeted Finance Minister and UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee for the economic slowdown.
"If the rupee is at an all-time low, if the international rating for credit has been downgraded, (there is) so much of corruption, who is responsible...?" he asked.
Mr Sangma, who is supported by the BJP, the AIADMK and the BJD, was talking to reporters in Amritsar during a visit to the Golden Temple. (Read: Pranab or Sangma for President? The Math
"You see individually, it is the Finance Minister who is responsible for price rice, for corruption, for devaluation of money and (the issue of bringing back) black money... collectively the Prime Minister and his cabinet, but individually it is the Finance Minister's responsibility," he said.
Mr Sangma, who is pinning hopes on a "conscience vote" and his tribal identity, has virtually dared Mr Mukherjee for a debate ahead of the Presidential poll, saying democracy needs debate on the current economic scenario.
The Congress has, however, dismissed as a "non-starter" Mr Sangma's challenge to Mr Mukherjee for a debate.
"The Constitution does not ordain or mandate that the President of India manages the economy of the country. Therefore, the suggestion for the debate is non sequitur (a statement that does not logically follow the previous statement) and non-starter," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari has said.