Congress on Sunday sounded dismissive of Narendra Modi's anointment as BJP's campaign committee chairman for 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and took potshots at the opposition party over the "apparent divide" within its top brass on the issue.
"Modi's appeal is limited to Gujarat. We have seen the hollowness of his campaign in Karnataka elections. He is popular only among people, who like communal politics and communal personalities. But this kind of politics goes against the ethos of India. Common people do not appreciate the communal politics of people like Modi," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told PTI.
At the same, he said it was "internal matter" of BJP whom to make their campaign committee chief or Parliamentary Board head.
"My heartiest congratulations to Modi," Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said when asked about Modi's anointment as Chairman of its Election Campaign Committee.
Asked whether Modi could be projected as a Prime Ministerial candidate, he said, "it was for BJP to decide."
Earlier, Singh had tweeted, "My heart goes out to Advani ji. He brought BJP from 2 to 182 in Lok Sabha. But then the ungrateful BJP is a Party with differences."
Advani did not attend the BJP conclave in Goa, which saw Modi assuming a larger role in the party for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Taking potshots at the internal difference within BJP, Union Minister Rajiv Shukla wondered when BJP cannot keep its ten leaders together, how will they keep ministers to function together in government.
He categorically said that Congress has nothing to be afraid of BJP and that it was ready for any fight.
Responding to the BJP's attack that Congress was afraid of Modi, Ahmed said, "this will be answered in 2014. After the results of Parliamentary elections, Shahnawaz Hussain and other BJP leaders will know who was afraid of whom."
Taking a dig at Advani, Ahmed said the BJP veteran was "reaping what he had sown."
"Advani is getting a taste of his pills. It was he who had started communal politics in India after 1985-86. Now Modi has projected himself as a more communal person than Advani, and this is the simple reason that the senior most BJP leader has now been sidelined.
"As you sow, so you reap. He had sowed the seeds of communalism in Indian politics. He was replaced by a more communal person," Ahmed claimed.
On micro blogging site Twitter, the Congress spokesperson commented, "Advani hints in his blog that you will have to pay for your sins in your lifetime itself. Is he repenting his role to save Modi in 2002?"
Advani is believed to have backed Modi's continuance as Gujarat Chief Minister after the post-Godhra riots.
A leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said that Modi's projection will lead to new political alignments, which will work to the benefit of Congress.