Chidambaram slams BJP over PM resignation demand

Union home minister P Chidambaram today slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over a Time magazine story and calling its criticism as extremely 'distasteful'.

He said the most charitable way to describe the comment was ''extremely distasteful.'' He wondered what he would have said when he read on Vajpayeeji in June 2002, in an article titled something like 'Asleep at The Wheel' and the last line of that article was something, which Prasad (BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad) should read.

Chidambaram was referring to a Time magazine story on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in June 2002, titled, `Asleep At The Wheel.' The BJP had gone ballistic over the magazine article then, as it asked whether Atal Behari Vajpayee's failing health still made him the ideal person to govern India.

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier in the day demanded prime minister Singh's resignation over the article in the Time magazine, which dubbed him as an 'underachiever'. Taking a sarcastic dig at the prime minister, Prasad said the reputed magazine had echoed the voice of the people of India.

Prasad said Singh was a prime minister of nine years, not nine months, and with nine years of misgovernance, Manmohan Singh needed to step down.

He added it was unfortunate for the country that its economist prime minister had been dubbed as an underachiever by the same magazine that had earlier given him 19th position in the annual list of 100 most influential people.