‘Modi is a challenge but Cong not afraid’

In a scathing attack on Narendra Modi,Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh called him “India’s first authentic Fascist”

Written by Ruhi Tewari | New Delhi | Published: June 14, 2013 12:30:19 am

In a scathing attack on Narendra Modi,Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh called him “India’s first authentic Fascist” while conceding that he posed a “challenge” to the Congress in the next elections.

“He will certainly impose a challenge. He represents not just a managerial challenge but also an ideological challenge,” Ramesh said,adding that the Gujarat chief minister was a “formidable campaigner”.

This is perhaps the first time a Congress leader has admitted that Modi could be a formidable challenge for it. He,however,denied that the Congress was afraid of Modi.

Ramesh also lashed out at the BJP and the RSS,saying the next election will not be between the Congress and the BJP,but between the Congress and the RSS. “It is quite clear that the RSS is calling all the shots. It should just come out in the open and register as a political party and give up its pretence of being a socio-cultural organisation,” Ramesh said.

Ramesh equated Modi with Bhasmasura,the demon in Hindu mythology who could turn anyone into ashes,saying Modi would “consume those who have created him”. “He has already consumed his mentor Advani as well as Praveen Togadia,who was his co-conspirator in 2002,” he added.

Questioning Modi’s much touted governance record,Ramesh said his brand of governance could not be divorced from his ideology. “He has destroyed all democratic norms. He represents a very dangerous element of politics. It’s all about I,me,myself. Yes,he has the support of several corporate houses but so did Hitler and Mussolini,” Ramesh said.

Comparing the two possible PM candidates,Ramesh said “the fundamental difference between Rahul and Modi is that the former is trying to create a structure and system for the Congress while Modi says he is the system and structure.” He,however,did not comment on whether 2014 will be a Modi versus Rahul fight.

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