Modi's projection to raise communal temperature: Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh maoists_0_0_0.jpg

New Delhi: Narendra modi's projection as Prime Ministerial candidate will lead to 'jacking up' of communal temperature and there can be more riots like Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader and Union minister Jairam Ramesh said.
He described Modi as a 'mukhauta' (mask) of RSS and said the 2014 Lok Sabha elections would be a direct fight between Congress and the Sangh for the first time.
He said that the BJP wanted to convert the next general election into a battle for Prime Ministerial sweepstakes but Congress would not get into a 'me too' syndrome, suggesting that the party may not project anybody.
"I think modi's political strategy has been and will always be communal polarisation... When his lieutenant Amit Shah was appointed as in-charge of UP, he gave the game away," Ramesh told.
Accusing BJP of fanning communal violence in Muzaffarnagar earlier this month, Ramesh apprehended more such incidents in the Hindi heartland with modi's projection. "Muzaffarnagar is a trailer, the first milestone... Muzaffarnagar is a millstone.
There will be more such millstones. I fear that there will be a gradual jacking up of communal temperature. "It's a time-tested strategy in which Modi is a past master. I am afraid that the way we are going, UP and Bihar, which are heartland of Indian politics can see communal tensions and flare-ups," he said.
Ramesh said that the events in the BJP in last few months make it clear that what matters there is the RSS alone and BJP is just a mask.
"2014 is the first election, the Congress is fighting directly with RSS, with Modi as its mukhauta (mask) and modi's mukhauta is development. It's a double mukhauta. So this election is not Congress versus BJP but Congress versus RSS. It's high time the RSS should come out of purdah, register itself as a political party and fight elections directly and not through wholly-owned subsidiaries like the BJP," he said.
He rejected a suggestion that the 2014 election is a referendum on the leadership of Rahul Gandhi versus Modi. "No. Absolutely not... We do not see 2014 elections as a Prime Ministerial sweepstakes," he said.
Asked why Congress is diffident about formally projecting Rahul as its Prime Ministerial candidate, Ramesh said, "We are not in 'me too' strategy... We are not in reactive strategy that we must do it since the BJP did it."
Ramesh, who is in the core team of the Congress Vice President, said the party will fight the election on the basis of its policies, performance and leadership together. He said that while the BJP is asking for votes in the name of Modi, Congress is seeking the mandate as a party to run the government.
Ramesh said that he hopes that the 2014 election is not fought on communal polarisation but on development. He said though the BJP has projected Modi thinking that he will get them the bounce, the party would not get new allies.
"Modi will not bring them allies that they need. The next government is a coalition government... Allies will not come with Modi at the helm," he said. Ramesh noted that BJP is in serious and direct contest with Congress in seven to eight states.
"The so-called BJP-Congress confrontation is not a national confrontation. BJP is in serious contest with Congress in 7-8 states not in 30 states. In Maharashtra, the BJP is a junior partner of Shiv Sena. We are not a junior partner of NCP there. In Haryana, they are non-existent. In UP, there is quadrangular contest," he said seeking to dismiss BJP as a political force confined in only few states.
Taking a jibe at the BJP over creation of a website to achieve the magical 272-number for the main Opposition party, he said, 'the is a 272.con.'
Listing out food security and land acquisition legislations as major steps, the Union rural development minister said that "these are election issues no doubt" adding that it will depend on party workers whether they are able to convert them in votes or not. 

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