Advani's elevation is to preclude Modi : Congress

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New Delhi, Dec 12 (UNI) The Congress today said the decision of the BJP to project Mr L K Advani as its Prime Ministerial candidate was to preclude Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from becoming active at the national level ''after his possible defeat in the State Assembly elections.'' AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said the ''hasty'' manner in which the decision was taken was a clear indication that it was a ''panic reaction'' and '' also betrayed the insecurity of Mr Advani.'' ''Otherwise, why should the BJP name its Prime Ministerial candidate 18 months before the next Lok Sabha elections?,'' she asked, adding, '' we are equally aware that Mr Modi is going to be a free man as he is certain to lose power.'' In this context, she pointed out that Mr Rajnath Singh came to the national scene as the BJP President after the party was voted out in his home state of Uttar Pradesh.

'' Likewise, Mr Modi is also likely to aspire to appear on the national scene. Therefore, the BJP leadership wants to preclude him from appearing on the national scene after the Gujarat assembly elections.'' Asked if the Congress considered the status of Mr Advani and Mr Modi comparable, Ms Natarajan said, '' not because Mr Modi's profile is admirable, but because BJP's profile is low.'' When a reporter pointed out the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that there was no vacancy for the PM's post, she said she fully concurred with what Dr Singh had said.

Asked if Dr Singh would be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Congress in the next Lok Sabha elections, she said, '' we are not panick stricken like the BJP.'' She said though the decision to project Mr Advani was an internal matter of the BJP, she was commenting on it only to show the '' pathetic situation'' of the party.

UNI

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