Opposition running ‘rent a cause’ campaign: Jaitley

New Delhi: Accusing the Opposition of running a ‘rent a cause’ campaign against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said with no leader, no grand alliance and no real issue, there weren’t many takers for its “failed campaign”.

He said the opposition parties had failed to build even a single major issue against the government in the past five years and hence they were picking an issue every day resulting in a campaign with no running thread connecting what was being said today to what has been said over the last several months.

“One day Pulwama was questioned as self-engineered. The next day Balakot was questioned as a non-existent operation. The anti-satellite missile was passed off as a Nehruvian contribution even though Panditji’s correspondence with Dr. Homi Bhabha established the contrary. One day the BJP is accused of whipping up war hysteria, the other day it is dubbed as pro-Pakistan,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.

“One day the focus would be on the BJP candidate’s educational qualification, fully forgetting that a public audit of Rahul Gandhi’s academic credentials may leave a lot to be answered. After all, he got an M.Phil without a Masters degree!

“There is no leader, no gathbandhan, no common minimum programme and no real issues. Not surprisingly there are not many takers for a ‘failed campaign’. It is ‘Rent a Cause’ campaign,” he said.

The BJP leader said the opposition is in a disarray in many states with alliances having not worked out, resulting in multi-cornered contests which “obviously favours the BJP”.

“Verbal battles between the Left, Trinamool and the Congress and now the AAP and the Congress are increasingly visible. On the leadership issue, the situation looks gloomier than what I had thought. BSP leader Mayawati, Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee leave no stone unturned in running down the Congress President.

“To oust a popular government, an extremely popular Prime Minister, you need some real issues, not fictional issues. The Opposition wasted the past two years in a run-up to the polls ‘manufacturing issues’ which didn’t exist. The false campaign on Rafale didn’t carry much weight. Loan waiver to industrialists was a lie, the EVM as an instrument of rigging was a bigger lie,” he said.

Jaitley said the opposition was now resorting to a new issue every day — be it the “signature campaign propaganda”, questioning Balakot airstrikes or questioning educational qualifications of the BJP leaders.

On the signature campaign, he said it was a tactic to get some critics of the government in different sections to sign memorandums against the BJP which also happened in 2014.

“You will always find enough people on either side of the political divide in various disciplines who are willing to sign the memorandum one way or the other. These groups include ‘academics’, ‘economists’, ‘artistes’, ‘ex-civil servants’ and now even some former ‘soldiers’ – many of those whose signature appear have not consented to their signatures been put,” he said.

“Not having built up a single major issue against the government in the past five years, the strategy is to pick up an issue for a daily tweet or a press-briefing. This is the plight of the opposition campaign,” he added.