"You do not need a politician, but a hardcore politician and a leader, who can really give direction, implement decisions, look beyond his nose, and is clear about the direction in which country is to move," said Jaitley in New Delhi.
The opposition BJP has nominated Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, who has won three successive elections in Gujarat, and has touted Modi's credentials as an effective economic manager in contrast to the policy drift in New Delhi that has helped drag India's economic growth to its worst pace in a decade.
"My experience of the last few years tells me that we paid very heavily by not having natural leader of the country, or the nature leader at least of the party as the prime minister. Your ability to have the last word, your ability to be decisive and your ability to overrule others," said Jaitley, who released a book on the economic policies of Modi.
Indian media often presents the 2014 elections as a face-off between Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, best known for his famous last name, and Modi, who has been lauded by Indian corporate leaders and foreign companies for his business-friendly policies in Gujarat.
BJP's strong showing in the recent assembly polls in four states has boosted the momentum for Modi in the run-up to the parliamentary elections due by April 2014.