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PM Modi finally admits Rahul Gandhi as a 'serious competitor': Shiv Sena

Dismissed as a 'Pappu' barely four years back, Gandhi had now emerged as a leader in his own right, says the Sena

IANS  |  Mumbai 

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray (Photo: PTI)
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray (Photo: PTI)

A poll-weary Prime Minister Modi has finally acknowledged that President-elect as a 'serious competitor' as the battle enters the final stages, the said on Wednesday.

Dismissed as a 'Pappu' barely four years back, Gandhi had now emerged as a leader in his own right and he was now 'the Man to Watch' for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Sena said in its mouthpieces 'Saamana' and 'Dopahar Ka Saamana'.

"Whatever be the outcome in Gujarat, after the recent results in Uttar Pradesh civic polls, it is suspected that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are the biggest strength of the BJP," the Sena said.

"Yet, Rahul has proved that he is no more a 'Pappu' and the BJP must accept this magnanimously. There can be differences and fights over ideology which are settled by elections. But creating an atmosphere that 'nobody should oppose or stand against you in politics' is shocking. Under such gloomy circumstances, Rahul is taking over as President," said the edits.

Attacking its ally in Maharashtra and at the Centre, the Sena said the BJP had started attacking and belitting Gandhi's (expected) elevation as President by labelling it as 'Aurangzeb Raj' and it had raised a hue and cry over Gandhi visiting a temple.

"Instead, the BJP should have welcomed Rahul's temple trip, which signals a victory of the 'pro-Hindutva' forces and now he could guide the Congress to adopt a 'soft-Hindutva' line. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) should come forward and felicitate Rahul for this step," the Sena suggested.

Attacking Modi for his 'Aurangzeb Raj' jibes, the Sena countered: "If you have so much aversion to Mughals, then you should order the Maharashtra Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) to get the tombs of both Aurangzeb and Afzal demolished in this state.

"The 'Mughal Raj' type of rule should be avoided by not only by the Congress but by all other political parties. Rahul faces a massive challenge to revitalize the crumbling Congress. What he will do in this direction, everybody will keep a watch," the Sena edit said.

First Published: Wed, December 06 2017. 15:53 IST