The BJP and the Congress are sparring again over Narendra Modi. The trigger this time is a US think-tank report praising his performance as the chief minister of Gujarat.
Modi has streamlined growth in Gujarat, curtailed corruption and paid special attention to infrastructure, the BJP cited the report as saying.
The report foresees Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi contest for the post of the prime minister in the next elections in 2014.
“If it is true, it is a pity. You can only pity whoever will have to fight Rahul Gandhi,” is how law minister Salman Khurshid reacted to the possibility.
The report of US Congressional Research Service — a think-tank which provides support to the US Congress on a number of issues — was made public on September 13.
While the BJP was quick to heap praises on Modi, the Congress reminded it that the US had denied visa to the CM.
Modi has been refused US visa purportedly for failing to curtail the communal violence that raged in the state in 2002.
The report, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, had acknowledged that Gujarat was growing at 11 % under Modi. He accused the Congress of being in denial about the good work done by Modi.
The September 12 order of the Supreme Court — which left it to the trial court to decide the fate of the CM in Gulberg society case — had favoured Modi, Rudy claimed.
“The BJP has decided to extol a purported report by a US think-tank. They should also be cognisant that the same US still continues to deny him a visa,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
He said he hadn't heard of the report and if it indeed existed, “I do not think it is necessary to dignify it with a response”.
Asked if Modi, who will go on a three-day fast from September 17, would be in the running for the PM’s post in 2014, Rudy said party chief Nitin Gadkari had made it clear that the party would not declare its PM candidate “as of now”.