by FP Staff Feb 8, 2013 13:21 IST
Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi have both enthralled audiences of different kinds with speeches. Given the promises they made, who would make the better Prime Ministerial candidate?
"Neither of them," said A K Bhattacharya, editor of Business Standard.
Speaking to Karan Thapar on an evening discussion in CNN-IBN, he said,"You cannot judge Narendra Modi only by his formidable economic development. You have to look at the kind of politics he has encouraged and that is clearly divisive politics. One has to take into account his total contribution to India's diverse political debate."
According to him, Rahul Gandhi is no great gun either.
"Rahul Gandhi is a political commodity that has not been tested yet. He has almost behaved like an absentee landlord," he said.
Rudrangshu Mukherjee, opinion editor of The Telegraph echoed the same view - none of the leaders have the wherewithal to appeal to any section of the population, leave alone the youth.
"We don't know where Rahul Gandhi stands - on economic policies, foreign policies and on any matter of crucial importance. On none of the issues do we have a position formulated by Rahul Gandhi. On the other hand, Modi's aspects of governance in Gujarat is not savoury," he said.
However, Bhattarcharya said Modi and Rahul's message to bridge the gap between power and people, might have sound the same but their source of knowledge was different.
"Modi's message cannot be taken lightly - as it has come from his interaction with people. Rahul Gandhi's probably come from textbooks. In this case, Mr Gandhi is a shareholder, Mr Modi is a CEO," he added.
Though Mukherjee did not agree with this observation.
"Irrespective of Narendra Modi's policies, India will grow. After liberalisation of the 90s, it does not matter who is in power. Government does not drive business any more, business drives itself," he said
According to him, the crucial problem is that they are not taking up the issues that continue to plague India - over which the government has direct control. "None of them are addressing the real problems of India - healthcare, education and poverty," he added.
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