Congress nervous, Chidambaram planning retirement: Jaitley

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Targeting the Congress, BJP leader Arun Jaitley Friday claimed the party is exhibiting signs of nervousness with the general elections approaching, and said union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram “appears to be planning life after the North Block”.

In his blog, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha has said with the elections approaching, each Congress member is “frantically concerned about his own position rather than wanting the Congress Party to get ready for a spirited fight”.
Noting that Amethi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s constituency, “has been nourished by the family for four decades”, Jaitley alleged the “very idea that the Raja of Amethi Sanjay Singh may contest against Rahul Gandhi was enough to scare the Congress party’s de facto prime ministerial candidate. The Raja of Amethi had to be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha from Assam”.
“A firewall of sorts has to be created around Amethi to secure the constituency” and “deals are being worked out with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party not to put up candidate from the minority community against the sitting MP (Gandhi).”
Jaitley said not only has Gandhi “displayed his personal nervousness” about the seat “but the party’s prospects in Assam have been considerably damaged”.
He said the state of allies is no different. The Nationalist Congress Party “has been giving conflicting signals on a daily basis”.
“The National Conference has realized that an alliance with the ruling party of New Delhi will be counter-productive to it in the Kashmir Valley. It is preparing itself for a break.”
Jaitley said no state unit of the Congress in recent history had the courage to defy the central leadership, but “most Congressmen from Andhra Pradesh led by the chief minister have decided to defy the party line on Telangana”.
“The next in store will be cross voting in the Rajya Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh. All this could lead to split in a state which provided the largest number of seats to the Congress both in 2004 and 2009,” he wrote.
Jaitley finally took on “my friend Mr. P. Chidambaram”, who he alleges “appears to be planning life after the North Block”.
According to Jaitley, from the kind of statements Chidambaram has been making and “the academic questions he is posing to his opponents, I suspect that he is practising to get back to column writing. I am sure his columns will make an excellent reading”.