Press Trust of India
New Delhi, 5 December
Congress leader Digvijay Singh, a known Narendra Modi baiter, today said the Gujarat CM was moving away from his “fanatic” ideology and that “even a chaiwallah can become the Prime Minister”, which were promptly welcomed by the BJP as praise for its PM candidate.
Mr Singh said that he “welcomes that Modi is gradually distancing from his fanatic ideology and gravitating towards the ideology of Atal Bihari Vajpayee” and “it should be welcomed if the Sangh and the BJP ~ are coming close to the ideology of the Congress and () Nehru.”
He, however, added that “Modi will not be acceptable to people of India” and he would prefer Sushma Swaraj to him “if god forbid BJP comes to power”.
Responding to criticism that the Congress is fine with the party being in the hands of a family and some special people calling the shots but does not like common
workers rising as in the BJP, Mr Singh said it was not true.
He said in a democracy “if a shepherd from Kerala can become President so also a tea-vendor (chaiwallah) can become Prime Minister.”
BJP leader Smriti Irani said “we had not thought that Digvijay Singh will say that even a chaiwallah can become Prime Minister ~ I am happy that Modi ji is being praised so much by Digvijay Singh ji.”
The Congress leader at the same time said that Mr Modi is “not a factor” for the Congress and that while Mr Vajpayee and Mrs Sushma Swaraj can be acceptable “Modi will not be acceptable to people of India” as the country’s basic temperament is one that favours communal harmony.
He was speaking at the ‘Agenda Aaj Tak 2013; ~ a two-day conclave of India Today Group that began here yesterday.