Manmohan Singh says opposition can’t be underestimated
PM says Congress took opponents, including the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, ‘very seriously’
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the ruling Congress party took political opponents, including the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, “very seriously”.
The Prime Minister was responding to a question from a delegate at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
Singh said the Congress party was going to the forthcoming elections with “self confidence”.
“As an organized political party, we cannot underestimate the power of the opposition” to unseat the government, Singh said.
“There is no room for complacency,” the Prime Minister said.
His comments come against the backdrop of elections to five state assemblies that ended this week. The results are to be announced on Sunday. Exit polls have predicted that the BJP is likely to win four of the five states that have gone to the polls. Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram were the five states.
Singh said the communal violence Bill is not a “vote-catching gimmick” and it is an idea “whose time has come”.
The Congress party-led government has faced some stiff opposition over the Bill from various political parties such as the BJP, with Modi on Thursday dubbing the Bill as a “recipe for disaster”.
Calling the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar as “unfortunate”, the Prime Minister stressed on the need of provisions in the law to take adequate care of riot victims.
“If it is not possible to prevent riots, there should be adequate compensation for the victims. Its an idea whose time has come,” Singh said.
The Union government has said it will try to evolve a consensus on issues related to the Bill. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government will introduce the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013, in the current winter session of Parliament.