Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday said that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi cannot become the prime minister as the people of this country will not accept a man who did not observe his ‘Rajdharma’ during and after the communal riots in his state.
Shinde, who was in the city for the campaigning of Congress-NCP candidate Vishwajeet Kadam, was addressing the media. He also addressed a public rally at Jambhulkar Garden at Wanavdi in the evening. Vishwajeet Kadam, state forest minister Patangrao Kadam and Congress city unit president Abhay Chhajed were present for the press briefing.
Shinde praised Kadam as a dynamic and aggressive leader and a right choice who can provide future leadership for the city. He expressed confidence that the UPA government would once again retain power at the Centre.
On NCP president Sharad Pawar’s view that BJP would be the single largest party after the elections, Shinde said “Pawar is a strategist and makes such statements during elections. This country would never believe in the principles and ideology of BJP and would stand by the Congress, which always practice secularism.”
While commenting on Modi’s criticism of Congress, Shinde said, “A prime ministerial candidate should behave like a PM does. Modi needs to be reminded of Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statement of observing ‘Rajdharma’, which is relevant even today.”
“In 2004, we got the impression that our party would have dismal performance but people proved everyone wrong and UPA came to power. The same thing would happen this time,” he added.
On tainted MP Suresh Kalmadi, he said, “How can Kalmadi be held guilty as his case is pending before the court. Many a time, allegations are leveleld but unless there is final verdict by the court, how can we term any person guilty.”
'Not in PM race'
When asked as to whether he would be compromise candidate for the post of Prime Minister, Shinde said, `You people ask such questions and last time I was asked whether I would be happy if Sharad Pawar becomes Prime Minisetr and I had said yes to this question. But our choice for the post of Prime Minister is Rahul Gandhi who is a great strategist with a great intellect. I can say this because I am watching him and his work for the party from close quarters.'