Sushilkumar Shinde: Narendra Modi not a challenge to Congress

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'Modi not a challenge to Congress'
New Delhi, Nov 11: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday distanced himself and Congress party from Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statement that BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is a challenge to Congress.

"Narendra Modi is not a challenge to Congress. Congress is a big a party, very old party. It has already completed 120 years of its existence and it has its own identity," he told reporters here when asked whether the Gujarat Chief Minister is a challenge to the ruling party.

When asked about Chidambaram's statement on Sunday in which he termed Modi as a "challenger", Shinde said he and his party did not think so. "I cannot say about others. I am saying on behalf of me and my party," he said.

The Home Minister said the Congress has been facing many challenges over the years and it was nothing new to the party. "In 2004, there was a big challenge-India Shining. But people of this country had given mandate to Congress and for the last ten years the party is in power," he said.

Shinde: Congress is a big a party, very old party

Chidambaram on Sunday acknowledged that the Congress party considers Modi as a "challenger."

"As a political party, we acknowledge that he (Modi) is a challenger. We cannot ignore him. He is a candidate fielded by the principal Opposition party. We have to take note of him," he had said at a function in Goa.

The Finance Minister, however, said that as an individual he is concerned about Modi's ideology, philosophy and the kind of language he has been using in public rallies. "So far he (Modi) is extremely opaque. So far he has not spoken on any of the major issues. He has just made election promises," Chidambaram said.

PTI

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