Jaitley said Gandhi was right that political parties cannot be personality-centric | PTI/File
BJP leader Arun Jaitley Wednesday hit out at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks about the opposition party and prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi pursuing "personality-oriented" power and said the Congress vice president had got his facts all wrong.
In an article, Jaitley accused the Congress and many of its former prime ministers of practising "personality-oriented" politics.
Jaitley said Gandhi was right that political parties cannot be personality-centric.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said political parties should have a structure, an ideology and inner party democracy and cannot be run on the whims of an individual.
"Having popular leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi is very different from the BJP becoming personality centric. These leaders were and will always remain subject to the party structure. Rahul Gandhi has got the principle against personality centred-party right, (but) he has got his facts all wrong," Jaitley said.
Jaitley accused Gandhi of making it to the top of the Congress party due to dynastic politics.
"In a structured party like the BJP or the Left, Rahul Gandhi would still have been struggling to get his first assignment as an office bearer in the party structure or in a legislative body. It is only in a personality and family dominated set-up like the Congress that he can be nominated as the unquestioned supremo."
Citing examples of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Jaitley said their decisions had made the Congress personality-centric.
On Congress president Sonia Gandhi's decision not to accept the prime minister's post, Jaitley said "the virtues of renunciation were now sung by the Congress party".
Rahul Gandhi had, in an interview, hit out at the BJP and and Modi for wanting "personality-oriented power" in this year's Lok Sabha polls.
Answering a query on Modi's "popularity", Gandhi had said that power should not be exercised through the thinking of one person or his ways.