It will be Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi in the 2014 general elections, Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma claimed yesterday.
“It’s going to be Rahul Gandhi versus (Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi in the 2014 general elections,” Verma told reporters in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, forecasting a direct contest between the Congress general secretary and the BJP leader.
In an attempt to woo the Muslim community on Eid, he claimed that no party, other than the Congress, cared for minority communities, including the Sikhs and Christians. The UPA government was providing scholarships worth Rs 10,000-15,000 to their wards.
“The Congress cares for all but the Samajwadi Party (SP) is only concerned about its vote bank,” Verma said taking a dig at the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP that rules the state. Verma, a former SP leader, joined the Congress ahead of the 2009 general elections.
Around 80 per cent of Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh voted for the SP during the March assembly polls despite the central government promising them nine percent sub-quota of the 27.5 per cent Other Backward Classes (OBCs) pie.
Muslims constitute around 18 per cent of the 20 million voters in the politically crucial state which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
There is no clear indication yet from both the Congress and the BJP on who would be their prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.