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BJP counters Sibal’s challenge

In a sharp reaction to Union minister Kapil Sibal’s challenge to its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for a debate, BJP on Friday claimed Congress ‘is rattled by the unprecedented support’ to Modi and making a personalised attack on him.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley charged the second rung leaders of Congress are ‘inventing’ arguments which are ‘almost trivial’.

‘The response to all of Modi’s contact programmes and large rallies is unprecedented. The kind of attendance at Modi’s rallies is among the largest I have seen in the last few decades. Congress is rattled. It does not know how to deal with the possible outcome of the 2014 elections,’ Jaitley said.

Further, ‘anti-incumbency is bothering the ruling party and it is disturbed that people are drawing parallels between Modi and Rahul Gandhi’, the party said.

‘Therefore, the second rank leaders of Congress have jumped him to mount a personalised attack on Modi. The kind of adjectives being used and the kind of arguments being invented are almost trivial,’ Jaitley said.

The main opposition rued this is taking the seriousness away from the debate.

‘There is a very interesting debate on in the country and Modi is leading the debate. Congress leaders are also speaking. Gandhi is also speaking in several rallies.

People are discovering what leaders are all about and I think this debate must continue,’ Jaitley said.

He suggested efforts ‘to deflect from this debate by interruptions and side comments is not the best thing to do and is not desirable’.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain attacked Rahul Gandhi, alleging each time he makes a speech it stirs a controversy and Congress leaders have to rush to his defence.

‘Rahul Gandhi’s speeches have no effect and whenever he opens his mouth he gets embroiled in a controversy and his party has to clarify... Congress only incurs losses when its Prime Ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi speaks,’ Hussain said.

The Prime Minister himself and other Congress leaders have declared Gandhi as their leader but while their leader is not ready for a debate, his followers are.

Hitting out at Sibal, Hussain said he is a good lawyer but his arguments about political issues has created controversies. ‘Sibal had said there was zero loss in the 2G spectrum case,’ he said.

The party alleged Congress leaders are engaged throughout the day in ‘misleading’ the nation.

‘Gandhi has not spoken at all on rising prices of onions and potatoes. This Diwali is going to be a costly one for us. But Congress is only trying to divert attention from important issues like price rise, corruption and terrorism,’ Hussain said.



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