Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to skip Commonwealth summit in Colombo due to domestic political pressure - (Reuters)

During a media summit on Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recognized BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra as a challenge for upcoming Lok Sabha elections, due by May next year.

A member from the audience asked the Indian Prime Minister whether Modi posed a threat to the Indian National Congress and he said, "As an organised political party we can not underestimate the power of opposition to unsettle the ship of the State. Therefore I am one of those who take very seriously our opposition, there is no room for complacency."

He added that his party, led by Sonia Gandhi, "is going into the elections with a spirit of self confidence and that should not be mistaken whatever may be the outcome of the Assembly elections."

He also talked about the controversial Communal Violence Bill, which has been shunned by various chief ministers, including Modi and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa.

He dismissed the Opposition's charge on the timing of introducing the bill and said that 'it is not a vote catching gimmick."

Hinting at Muzaffarnagar riots, in which 47 people were killed, in Uttar Pradesh, Singh declared that it was a Bill 'whose time had come'.

 "Our effort has been to create an environment where the officials would have the responsibility to look after the law and order situation as effectively as is humanly possibly. Plus, also if riots cannot be prevented there should be very quick compensation for the victims. So I think these are two basic principles which underline the purpose of the Communal Violence Bill."