Rahul National Leader, Modi Can't Run India: Beni
Within weeks of his elevation to the post of party Vice-President, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been termed as the PM candidate by Union minister Beni Prasad
Verma, who says there is no comparison between the Gandhi scion and Narendra Modi as the former is a "national leader".
"My prime ministerial candidate is Rahul Gandhi, Congress will decide when it has to. I have been saying this openly for past two years," Verma said here.
Amid speculation that Gujarat CM can spearhead the BJP campaign in 2014 polls, Verma brushed aside any comparison between Rahul and
Modi, saying only Rahul "has the ability to to run the country" and "people like Modi cannot run it".
"Rahul is the leader of the country. He has travelled the length and breadth and has his own organisation of youth and NSUI in every state. Modi is chief minister of a state. Only Rahul has the ability to run the country. People like Modi cannot run it," he said.
When asked about Modi's third successive victory and Congress's failure in UP and Bihar under
Rahul, Verma said Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi ruled the country for over four decades.
Verma said while Rahul thinks for country's poor, backward and minorities, Modi works with a bias towards minorities and hence, leaders like him should not come to power.
"There was Atal's charisma once, but at that time (also) it was not a majority (government), but alliance. Atalji was somewhat balanced," he said.
While Rahul enjoys overwhelming support within the party, there has been an internal bickering within the party against
Modi, the minister claimed.
On being asked whether Congress can touch the figure of 60 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, the minister said he will not "stake claims as made by SP supremo Mulayam Singh
Acknowledging that the party committed a few mistakes which cost it in the UP Assembly polls, Verma claimed the Congress-led UPA will again return to power at the Centre.
When asked why will the people vote for Congress after being faced with issues like corruption and inflation, Verma said the party will go to voters with a vision to take the country forward, besides several measures for the benefit of farmers and people from weaker sections.
On Lokpal, the minister said some people are playing politics over the issue and they won't be satisfied even if the bill is passed in
"See some people have to do politics. If they agree to it (the Lokpal Bill), their politics will end. Even if we accept everything, they won't agree," Verma said, when asked about objections by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal over the current version of the anti-graft bill.
He said 14 out of the 16 recommendations made by Parliament's Select Committee have been accepted by the government.
"Two recommendations have been accepted partially. After all the government has that much of prerogative," he added.
In response to a question regarding his security, Beni Prasad Verma said if the Uttar Pradesh government has trimmed his security cover "with a political vendetta", then its a wrong move.
"If it is done with vendetta then it is wrong and is the fault of those sitting in the government. One should not get blind while in power. Security is a petty issue," Verma said.
The Union minister, however, said he continues to enjoy Z-category security along with a CISF cover.
He said he talked to the state Chief Secretary over the issue, who says any such decision is not in his knowledge.
Verma said he also tried to contact SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, but he could not be reached.
The minister said he walked out of Samajwadi Party due to political differences.
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