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Looking beyond Chintan Shivir: Is it now Rahul vs Modi in 2014?

Now that Rahul Gandhi's been elevated to the post of vice president within the Congress, does it now set him up as the prime contender for the post of Prime Minister against Narendra Modi, who is most likely to lead the BJP in the next Assembly elections?

According to senior journalist and columnist Swapan Dasgupta, it is now clear that the next election will be a Rahul vs Modi fight. Speaking to Sagarika Ghose on a late night discussion on CNN-IBN, he said, "It seems to be reasonably clear the next election is to be a frontal confrontation between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi."

Is it going to be Rahul vs Modi in the next elections in 2014? AFP & PTI.

He pointed out that the Congress has been deliberately putting out secularist statements in the media to provoke the BJP, thus ratcheting up a secularism-communalism divide.

"The Congress is going to fight this election on the issue of secularism-communalism divide. Therefore avoiding the more important issue of governance in the past ten years," he added.

However, N Ram, former editor of The Hindu did not agree with the notion that the next election is going to be just about Gandhi and Modi.

"Before this speech of Rahul Gandhi everyone was talking about the rise of the regional parties in the next election. So the possible outcomes of the election will be a combination of the regional parties and one of the major national parties, the Congress or the BJP," Ram said.