Modi doesn't have pan-India presence: Khurshid

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 20, 2012 08:16 hrs

New Delhi: With the Gujarat assembly polls sparking off speculation that Narendra Modi would be a candidate for the Prime Ministership of the country in 2014, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader should not be raised to that level for there is a lot of negativity that goes with him elsewhere in the country.

"Why are you raising an election victory which I believe came with great difficulty for Mr. Modi to his having a pan- Indian presence. He doesn't have a pan- Indian presence. In fact, there is a lot of negativity that goes with him elsewhere in the country. Therefore, please don't raise him to that level," Khurshid told mediapersons outside the Parliament here.

"We have our leadership and our leadership is there for you to see. And our leadership is in every village, in every part of this country. We win, we lose; but that's because we have a longitivity that nobody else has had and nobody else will have in the near future," he added.

The External Affairs Minister said the Congress Party would analyse its improvements and disappointments in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

"What about Himachal? Don't undermine or reduce the importance of Himachal. Straight win for Modi fine, happy. But we have made significant improvements and I think we need to analyse both our improvements and our disappointments, we will do so. But it's not open skies for him the selection makes it clear and must have had a scare. I think that he has a lot of analysis to do himself and we have to do for ourselves," he said.

Khurshid further claimed that the Congress Party is moving in the right direction.

" Perhaps not far enough, perhaps not fast enough in terms of results this time, but it will show that we are moving in the right direction. We can fortify the basic strategy and basic tactical approach that we have taken and that will in due course take us where we want to go," he said.

Modi looks set for a third consecutive victory in the Gujarat assembly elections, while the Congress appeared to be wresting power from the saffron party in Himachal Pradesh.

According to latest reports, the BJP is leading in 117 seats in Gujarat and the Congress alliance is ahead in 60 seats.

There are 182 assembly seats in Gujarat and a party needs at least 92 seats to get a majority and form the government.

The Congress, which put up a spirited campaign under former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, is all set to return to power in Himachal Pradesh.

The Congress is leading over the BJP in Himachal Pradesh. The Congress is leading in 36 seats, while the BJP is ahead in 26 seats. The BJP won 41 seats, while the Congress emerged victorious in only 23 seats in the 2007 assembly polls. 

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