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Kapil Sibal dares Narendra Modi to debate, BJP needles Congress over challenge

Last Updated: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 00:46

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A war of words broke out between the ruling Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday over Law Minister Kapil Sibal`s challenge to Narendra Modi for a public debate.

Kapil Sibal on Friday hit out at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying he was desperate to become the prime minister.

Also Read: If you want to build statue of unity, build it in your heart: Sibal to Modi

“He is desperate to become the prime minister. He has announced his candidature so early. But he doesn’t believe in transparency and accountability,” Sibal told a press briefing.

“They talk of transparency and accountability. Look at the kind of Lokayukta in Gujarat,” Sibal added.

The Union minister also sought to question Modi on claiming ownership to Sardar Patel’s legacy.
Sibal said, “If you want to build statue of unity, then build it in your heart first. Apologise first to people (for 2002 riots)."

“The kind of language he uses is not a part of our Indian culture and he talks of statue of unity,” Sibal added.

“Narendra Modi is always angry, always acrimonious, uses language which is not in keeping with Indian tradition.”

It may be noted that Modi had yesterday laid the foundation stone of Sardar Patel’s statue along with senior BJP leader LK Advani on the banks of Narmada river in Ahmedabad. The statue, which Modi is calling ‘statue of unity’ will be the largest in the world.

Sibal further challenged Modi for a debate “on any topic, any language, on any platform”. But added, “I know that he won`t debate, he could never hold a press conference till date, how will he debate!”

The BJP on the other hand took a dig at the Congress and said that it had come not from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi but his `followers`.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain referred to Sibal`s challenge to Modi and said that Congress leaders had to make up for the "loss to the party due to Gandhi`s speeches".

"Chelas (followers) are getting ready for debate. Everyday, a minister comes forward. First it was Manish Tewari, today it is Sibal," Hussain said.

Attacking Sibal, Hussain said the minister had come up with the "zero loss" theory in the controversial 2G spectrum allocation. "This was done while the investigation was still on," Hussain said.

Hussain claimed that Gandhi`s speeches cause "loss and loss" to the Congress and Sibal had come out with new statistics to divert the attention of people.

"Whenever Rahul Gandhi makes a speech, the Congress has to follow up with clarifications for a week afterwards," Hussain said.

"Why has he (Sibal) not come out with statistics on price rise, corruption, terrorism and soldiers killed on the border?" the BJP leader asked.

Sibal Friday challenged Modi to a public debate and said the Gujarat chief minister, who is also the prime minister candidate of the BJP, is a man with no leader-like vision.

With IANS inputs

First Published: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 00:08

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