Panaji : Acknowledging some heart-burn over the NaMo wave in the country, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday acknowledged that the Congress party considers BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a “challenger.”
The minister, however, said that as an individual he is concerned about his (Modi’s) ideology, philosophy and the kind of language he has been using in public rallies.
“So far he (Modi) is extremely opaque. So far he has not spoken on any of the major issues. He has just made election promises,” Chidambaram said.
He said the rank and file of Congress party feel that Rahul Gandhi should be leader of the party and leader of government, if it is voted to power in the forthcoming general polls.
“Rank and file seems to think that if party is voted to power, Rahul should be the leader of the party and leader of the government,” he stated.
“As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I feel that the time has come to hand over the torch to the younger generation,” Chidambaram stressed.
“There are enough young men and women in the country who can take part in the government and provide good governance,” he said.
The minister noted that Rahul has been addressing various public rallies. “But if I was advising him (Rahul), I would have advised him to spell out his views on various major issues (in the rallies),” he said.
MODI BLASTS PM
In Kheda (Gujarat), a combative Narendra Modi on Sunday hit back at the Prime Minister for his attack on BJP, saying the Congress committed the “sin” of partition and eulogised only the Nehru-Gandhi family while neglecting heroes of the freedom struggle.
Contd. on P2
Modi trained his guns on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had yesterday said in Raipur that on many occasions, “over-excited BJP leaders change history and geography of the country”.
Singh’s remarks appeared to be directed at BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. “Mr Prime Minister, I am aware that it is not in your hands what you should say or not say. But the country wants to know who changed the geography of India. The village in which you were born was a part of Hindustan. Today it is not. Who changed the geography. Who broke this country into pieces?” Modi said while inaugurating a multi-specialty hospital managed by a Muslim trust in Balassinor in Kheda district, about 100 km from Ahmedabad.
Singh was born on September 26, 1932 in Gah, a remote village, now in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Modi charged that “it is the Congress which committed the sin of dividing India into two parts”. “You say we are changing the geography. Every so often China creates problems on our borders. It has captured hundreds of square kms of our territory. Who changed this geography? It was changed during Congress rule,” Modi said. Taking the Prime Minister to task on his speech made in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh, Modi said it would have been better if the Prime Minister had spoken on how to tackle price rise and corruption. “I was hearing PM’s speech on Saturday when he was speaking in Chhattisgarh. It would have been better if PM spoke on price rise, corruption but he was talking history and geography,” Modi said.