New Delhi, June 14 (ANI): Launching a frontal attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily on Friday said the former is not a challenge for the ruling Congress Party, but a liability for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"Modi is not a challenge for us. In fact, he is a liability for the BJP," he told mediapersons here.
The Congress Party also rejected claims of being scared of Modi's stature.
"The Congress Party has never considered Narendra Modi as a challenge. Since the time, Modi's name came up in the campaign committee, the Bharatiya Janata Party's alliance partner; Janata Dal United (JDU) is drifting away," said Congress spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das
" The BJP aspires to win the next general elections, how can they when they are fighting with amongst themselves? How can they win the trust of the common man?" he asked.
Meanwhile, the BJP accused the Congress of indulging in corruption and scandals, and alleged that the ruling party at the Centre is uneasy by Modi's wider acceptance as a leader.
"I am not surprised by the statement given on Narendra Modi. The Congress Party is neck deep in corruption and scandals. The manner in which corruption, robbery of public money has been propagated by the party, it is evident that they are uneasy and intimidated by Modi's political presence. Such a reaction is natural, it seems," said BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had earlier on Thursday dubbed Modi as India's 'first authentic fascist', and conceded that the BJP leader poses a 'challenge' for the Congress Party in the coming elections.
"He will certainly impose a challenge on us. He represents not just a managerial challenge. But he also represents an ideological challenge," he said.
Ramesh, however, dismissed suggestions that the Congress Party was afraid of Modi.
"Why should we be afraid of Modi? Yes he won three elections in Gujarat. No doubt, he was a formidable campaigner," he said.
Modi, who is touted by many to be the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, was earlier this month appointed as the chairman of campaign committee for the 2014 polls. (ANI)