Jnanpith award-winning Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy, who kicked up a storm last week by declaring he would not be able to live in the country if Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, rejected Rahul Gandhi as well on Tuesday.
“It is difficult to accept anybody as the Prime Minister in the present circumstances. Definitely not Rahul Gandhi. You do not have to be a genius to be a PM. You need knowledge and you need to be honest,’’ he said during an interaction with the media.
“There are no national leaders in India today of the stature of (Vallabhbhai) Patel, (Jawaharlal) Nehru, (B R) Ambedkar and (Lal Bahadur) Shastri. There are no great leaders for Muslims. There are no great leaders for Dalits — Ambedkar was the last,’’ Ananthamurthy said.
“I don’t think Modi is going to succeed. I am talking about him because the media has made much of it.
“Ours is not a presidential system that declaration of a PM candidate should be important. It is absurd. We have to elect the candidates and a leader will be chosen from among them, that is our system,’’ he said, adding “I did not say I would leave the country. I said I would not be able to live in a country where Modi is the PM.”