Sambalpur (Orissa), Oct 24: BJP leader L K Advani today took a dig at the Congress saying though there was always a question mark over who was the number one in the government, now by creating a “pecking order” the government has now raised a question mark over who was the number two.
On reports about a hierarchy set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, “This pecking order has been declared and its importance is that all important decisions will be taken by the Prime Minister in relation to the cabinet.”
At the same time, he said this “does not mean that no permission is required from 10 Janpath,” in relation to key decisions.
“Secondly, the pecking order establishes parity between the Home Minister and the Finance Minister, totally disregarding the fact that the Finance Minister today is the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha,” Advani said.
“There can be no two leaders in Lok Sabha.I would say that since its inception, there has been a question mark over who is the number one in the government. Whether it is the Prime Minister or the Congress President,” Advani said.
“Today, there is a question mark even over the number two. The earlier question mark, even though they let it hang, never created a doubt in anybody's mind,” he said.
“However, the doubt about this would remain,” Advani said referring to “parity” between the Home Minister and Finance Minister.
“I feel if a Prime Minister wants to appoint two cabinet ministers as Deputy Prime Ministers he can do it. But he cannot name two ministers as number two,” he said.
The Prime Minister has directed that either Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee or Home Minister P Chidambaram should remain in Delhi to look after the day-to-day affairs of the Government while he is underway on three foreign visits next month.