Congress unfazed by nomination

Putting up a brave front, Congress on Friday shrugged off the elevation of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying that the party does not feel that the Gujarat strongman poses any challenge.

“Why should we be bothered? What difference does it make to the Congress? It is their internal matter,” Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said when asked to comment on the challenge posed by Modi ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Chowdhury took a dig at public bickering in the BJP over Modi and asked the main opposition party to resolve internal conflicts first.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal echoed the party line, but said that the Congress would tackle Modi in the political arena, after persistent questions from the media.

“We will deal with him when we face him in the political arena. We will also be in election mode soon and will deal with all political parties,” Sibal said when asked to comment on the challenge posed by Modi.

The Congress appears to be finding it difficult to tackle Modi with a section of the leadership insisting on treating him as a state leader with no special advantage outside Gujarat. At the same time, AICC has sometimes taken the Gujarat chief minister head-on by countering his criticism of the UPA government. Recently, the Congress also tried to link Modi to a seven-year-old fake encounter case by getting the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), chaired by a party MP, to dig out the backward class origins of the victim Tulisram Prajapati. The NCSC had asked the CBI to probe the matter, which is now before court.

Privately, several Congress leaders admit that Modi posed a great challenge to the UPA which may not do too well in the next Lok Sabha elections. A section of the leaders even accused the media of giving disproportionate coverage to Modi and ignoring the Congress.

AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh said the country would never accept Modi as he can not keep the nation united.

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