It will be a Congress-RSS fight in next LS polls: Jairam Ramesh

Congress will fight against RSS and not BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

Patna: Congress will fight against RSS and not BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections as the Sangh is now in control of the saffron party, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday.

"The next general elections will be fought directly between Congress and the RSS and not BJP under Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial nominee. What has taken place in BJP recently has had the stamp of the RSS," the Rural Development Minister told reporters here.

"The key of BJP`s electioneering in the 2014 general elections will be handled by the Nagpur-based RSS too," he said.

He alleged that it would make efforts to communally polarise Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in particular as part of its electoral strategy and the process had already begun with the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts in UP.

He said Congress, on its part, would run its election campaign on positive agenda and highlight its achievements of enactment of five landmark legislations including Food Security Act and Land Aquisition Act aimed at catering to the aspirations of the poor.

Seeking to downplay a series of poll surveys projecting
an improved performance of BJP, Ramesh said, "Congress and BJP will face each other directly in only seven states, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka, as BJP does not exist in other parts of the country."

With Modi set to be a bug bear for the Congress with his development model in Gujarat, Ramesh said the CAG report had recently put the Modi government in dock for prevalence of malnutrition among majority of children and poor sex ratio.

Slamming the BJP prime ministerial candidate for his recent remarks giving primacy to toilets than temple, the Congress leader said the Gujarat government had falsely claimed to have 84 per cent coverage in sanitation which in the subsequent census report turned out to be 34 per cent.

"It means that only one-third of the rural people have toilet facilities in Gujarat," Ramesh said, adding that there had been no improvement in per capita income of Gujarat over the past three years and the state remained rooted in ninth position among the states.

Stating that there were shortcomings in the Gujarat Model of Modi, the Congress leader gave credit to the people, businessmen, industrialists for development and prosperity which he said had existed even before Modi took over as chief minister in 2000.