Congress' 'real' problem is Modi's 'personal popularity': BJP

New Delhi, Sept. 23 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday backed his party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, and rubbished Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's claim that the Gujarat chief minister was staging 'a fake encounter with facts.'

"What about what Modi has said is Mr. Chidambaram claiming to be a 'fake encounter of facts'? That is why, I am saying again, that he is talking about averages to hide their own weaknesses and to put a veil on the disastrous economic condition of the country for which Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram are responsible," Prasad said.

"Congress has a problem with Narendra Modi. The problem is his repeated victory in Gujarat and the way (in which) in so many surveys, his personal popularity is notching 46-48 percent plus, (while) that of the very eminent Prime Minister of India is -8 (percent), and that of the great young leader of the Congress Party Rahul Gandhi is in the region of 14 to 15 (percent)-that is the real problem," he added.

Further attacking the ruling Congress party, Prasad accused the Centre of impoverishing the economy of the country, and said the BJP handed it over to the ruling government while the stage was set for an economic boom.

"We laid a sound foundation for bumper growth, and they squandered away the sound foundation by corruption, by policy paralysis and lack of initiative and lack of good governance," he said.

Earlier today, Chidambaram came out with a detailed growth data for the last several years, and specifically lashed out at Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections Narendra Modi for 'staging a fake encounter with facts' as far as the nation's growth is concerned.

Chidambaram said if there was a golden period of growth, it was the five-year period under UPA I.

"I wonder why Shri Narendra Modi should stage a fake encounter with facts. Ultimately, facts will prevail," he said.

Additionally, on Sunday, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh hit out at Modi, and said the facts that he presented indicated that it was 'feku' at his best.

"FEKU MODI at his best. Giving fake figures of growth during NDA regime," Digvijay Singh said on the microblogging site, Twitter.

Praising the six-year tenure of NDA under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and party's veteran leader L.K. Advani, Modi had earlier said, "Under Vajpayee government it looked like that the 21st century would be the century of India. But with his departure, the downfall started."

He said that the growth rate was 8.4 per cent but it came down to 4.8 per cent during the UPA's rule.

"However, once Vajpayee's tenure as PM came to an end, we regressed and are moving backwards," he said, while addressing the Indian Diaspora through a live video conference. (ANI)

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