Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Congress ally Omar Abdullah might have put the Central government in a tough spot by acknowledging that NDA prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi has an influence over the public.
"A 'Modi wave' would be a bit of an exaggeration but it would also be wrong on our part to deny that there is no influence in the election. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a 'wave'. There is an effect of Modi and his effect might not be on the average voter but it is visible amongst the cadre of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) to an extent. If that has an impact during the elections we'll have to wait and see," Abdullah said on Monday.
The minister maintained that his National Conference stands strong behind the Congress-ruling UPA government.
Earlier in October, the 43-year-old CM had admitted during an interview with Hindustan Times that it would be 'foolish' to ignore the BJP candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls next year. "In fact, it would be a dangerous mistake," Abdullah had said.
Even Congress leader and incumbent Finance Minister P Chidambaram had noted that Modi united BJP's rank and was 'gaining some traction' among the youth.
Kirti Azad, BJP leader: "I thank Omar Abdullah for accepting the reality. And slowly the whole nation will realise the truth."
Shivanand Tiwari, JDU leader: "No. It will be wrong to deny that Modi has an influence on the public? At one place there is Congress on the other there is the BJP and Modi's stature has overpowered the stature of the BJP. And we can see that people are inclined towards him when it comes to Modi vs Rahul Gandhi," reported ANI.
"Congress is not able to compete with him (Modi). Congress leadership seems to be in a mode of surrendering in front of Modi, which is not right. So Congress should call all the rest of the secular parties in this country and talk to them," he added.
Shahnawaz Hussain, BJP spokesperson: "Since he has accepted that there is a 'Modi effect' so the other UPA allies are also accepting the fact. First it was the JDU leader Shivananad Tiwari in Rajgir rally, who had accepted that there is a 'Modi effect'. And now it's Omar Abdullah sahab. He was once a partner of the BJP I must remind you. If our opposition parties are accepting that Modiji has an 'effect', after the elections they will realise that it was in fact a 'wave'.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, BJP leader: "You may like or not like him. The fact remains that you can't ignore Mr.Modi. Omar Abdullah's admittance will have far-reaching affect."