Press Trust of India
New Delhi, 6 December: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he took BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi “very seriously” and there was no room for complacency.
“As a political party we can’t underestimate the power of the opposition to unsettle the ship of the state,” he said replying to a question at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.
He was asked about different views among his cabinet colleagues, one of whom has stated that the challenge posed by Mr Modi should be taken seriously while another has dismissed the opposition.
“I am one of those who takes very seriously our opponents. There is no room for complacency,” Mr Singh said.
He said the Congress party is going to elections with a spirit of self-confidence. “That should not be mistaken whatever is the outcome of Assembly polls,” he said.
The Prime Minister rejected a poser that the Communal Violence Bill is a vote-catching gimmick and said the government’s efforts is to ensure that if riots can’t be prevented, there should be adequate compensation for the victims.
“It is totally not a vote-catching gimmick. I think in the past five or six years we have been grappling with the problem of communal riots in some parts of our country ~ If riots can’t be prevented, there should be adequate compensation for the victims of the riots,” Mr Singh said while explaining the basic principles of the bill.
“What happened in Muzaffarnagar and some other parts of our country is a reminder that although as a country we can take pride in our ability to protect all the people of the country, yet there are times when aberrations take place. This bill, if passed in Parliament, will help to control those aberrations,” he said.
On terror, he said creating communal division was the ultimate objective of terrorism but terror ideologues have been defeated in generating communal strife.