By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi
EVEN as the Narendra Modi poll machine leaves a blazing trail in Gujarat, Congress generals are yet to venture into the combat zone, barring a stray rally- around- the flag drill by party chief Sonia Gandhi in Rajkot. Rather, the party prefers to launch quick fire verbal sorties from bunkers 900 km away from the warzone, in Delhi.
And one man engaged in a high- voltage verbal duel with Modi is Kapil Sibal. The HRD minister says: “ The Modi bubble will burst this winter and his mask will be ripped off after the elections.” In an exclusive interview with Rahul Kanwal on Aaj Tak's Seedhi Baat, Sibal said Modi's final nemesis will be his own party -- the BJP. “ The BJP brass doesn't want him in Delhi. And while he is launching an undignified, vituperative campaign against the Congress and Gandhis, he's actually throwing a challenge to his party leadership. He's telling them that he alone can take the Congress head- on and should lead the next parliamentary elections. His prime ministerial ambitions have unnerved the BJP brass in Delhi and he will be snuffed out in this inner- party war.” Sibal explains his “ final solution” for the man whom his party doesn't mince words in calling a “ Nazi”. He said: “ We actually want Modi to project himself as the prime ministerial candidate.
This will only bolster our position in the elections. Modi's elevation will ensure the BJP's rout. He's the very antithesis of what Indian values and culture stand for. His level of discourse is pathetic and any man who aspires to be PM cannot stoop so low.
The nation will never accept him. ” But the Congress doesn't have a strong leader on the ground or a chief ministerial face in Gujarat. The much- hyped Rahul- Modi face- off is yet to happen. Pre- poll surveys are already predicting a hat- trick for Modi. Is the Congress only banking on the Keshubhai Patel's rebellion to rescue its floundering fortunes? “ Pre- poll surveys can be manipulated.
They don't give the real picture. There's a groundswell of anger against Modi. He is already nervous and is feeling the ground slipping from under his feet. The Congress has won several elections without projecting a CM candidate. This winter, Modi will be wiped out.” But while Sibal is engaged in a bitter, unrelenting war of words with Modi, he is yet to venture into the Gujarat poll cauldron. He had even avoided a face- off in Ahmedabad a few weeks ago. He begs to differ though. “ I am ready to join the poll campaign in Gujarat,” Sibal said.