New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cryptic remark leaving open the possibility of him being in the race for a third term prompted BJP to call him a "reluctant" politician who has shown his true "political colours" while Congress sought to downplay the comment.
"Dr Manmohan Singh is a very reluctant politician. But what is surprising is that few days after Holi, the reluctant politician has shown his true political colours. And that too being audaciously ambitious," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in response to a question.
Singh yesterday appeared not to rule himself out of the race for Prime Ministership after the next Lok Sabha elections.
Asked by reporters yesterday whether he would accept another term in office if Congress President Sonia Gandhi offers him prime ministership again after 2014, Singh said: "these are all hypothetical questions. We will cross that bridge when we reach there".
Union Minister and Congress leader Rajiv Shukla remarked that the Prime Minister had said nothing to suggest he was ready for a third term.
"In my view he was responding to a pointed qustion. And what he said? He only said that when bridge will come we will decide how to cross it," he said.
Shukla also appeared to suggest that the media was giving different interpretations to Singh's remark.
"Whether the comment of Manmohan Singh is more aimed at his foes in Congress or to put a question mark on Rahul Gandhis claim for the post of Prime Minister, for which a consistent chorus is going on within the Congress, is entirely the internal matter of Congress," Prasad said.
Gandhi had recently maintained that asking him about Prime Ministership is putting a "wrong question" to him.