New Delhi, May 10: Is there something to read between the lines when BJP's fuming ally Shiv Sena appreciates not only Congress but also Rahul Gandhi. Without mincing words, Shiv Sena said it in loud and clear terms that Rahul Gandhi's criticism about PM Narendra Modi was within the limits of dignity. Not just that. it also said that Congress' prospect in 2019 General Elections was bright.
The Shiv Sena today praised Congress president Rahul Gandhi for being dignified while attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speeches and said he could pose a challenge to the BJP in 2019.
The BJP should have welcomed Gandhi's declaration of his Prime Ministerial ambitions, the NDA ally said, adding that it was against democracy to make fun of Gandhi over his remark.
The BJP should have challenged him to defeat it in the 2019 general polls.
Gandhi had said two days ago that he was ready to occupy the Prime Minister's post if his party wins the most seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, making known his ambition for the top executive post.
Reacting to the comment, Modi wondered whether the country would ever accept a leader who was immature and a dynast for the post.
Rebuking the BJP for criticising Gandhi's comments, the Sena said people would decide if the Congress president would become the Prime Minister in 2019 or face defeat.
"However, saying that he (Gandhi) is eager to become the Prime Minister or making fun of him is against democracy," it said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"If there is democracy left in the country, the BJP should have welcomed Gandhi's statement and challenged him to defeat it in 2019," the Sena said.
Lavishing praise on the 47-year-old Congress leader, the Sena said, "Rahul Gandhi today is not the same as he was in 2014. He has become a strong-minded person after bearing criticism. He can pose a challenge to the BJP in 2019 and the Gujarat Assembly polls have proved this."
According to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, the BJP uses "derogatory" language against Gandhi but he has never stooped to those levels to attack Modi and has "respected" him as the Prime Minister.
Gandhi's opponents have to agree that he has maintained a "certain degree of political class", the Sena said.
Taking a jibe at Modi, it said, "The PM has started remembering his 'alliance dharma' now. We are happy to hear that."