The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today sought to paint a dismal picture of UPA-II holding it responsible for the economic gloom and failure to give the country leadership while accusing it of diminishing the role of the Prime Minister.
On the fourth anniversary of UPA-II, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley said they would limit their critique to the second innings of the Congress-led coalition which has witnessed "mindboggling" scams that hit the common man the hardest.
"UPA-II has seen more corruption than UPA-I. There have been mindboggling scams which were not seen by any previous government," Mrs Swaraj told a press conference in Delhi with Mr Jaitley. (Read: Highlights from the BJP press conference)
Noting that coalition politics was the order of the day, Mrs Swaraj said such governments require "special leadership qualities".
"Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minister but neither a leader of the country nor the leader of his own party. Dr Singh's colleagues sit with him in the Cabinet and look towards the UPA Chairperson (Sonia Gandhi) for directions. Such split leadership is the biggest failure of UPA," she said.
Echoing Mrs Swaraj, Mr Jaitley said, "UPA has devalued the Prime Minister's post. Dr Singh's Cabinet colleagues look towards UPA chairperson for policy directions and somewhere else for future leadership."
At the same time, the BJP leaders parried questions on Narendra Modi's projection as NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate by a section within the party.
"Whether we will have a (Prime Ministerial) face or not and if we decide to have a face, who it will be, these issues will be decided by the BJP Parliamentary Board in consultation with NDA partners," Mrs Swaraj said.
Mr Jaitley said UPA's fourth anniversary was being celebrated in an environment of "gloom, pessimism, cynicism and negativism".