Cong hopes BJPâ€™s Modi edge to wane by LS polls NEW DELHI: The Congress is wary of the fallout of BJP declaring Narendra Modi as its PM candidate in the immediate term, but feels confident that the impact of the decision will peter out by the time Lok Sabha polls are announced. Congress leaders in public tried to play down the significance of the development by professing aloofness from what they called BJP's "internal matter", even as they deftly dodged taunts from the saffron challenger to declare their own choice for the PM. Sources, however, conceded that the announcement of Modi can galvanize the party cadre: a prospect which can compound the challenge that the party faces in the poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi. The assessment tallies from the widely-held views in neutral circles that the BJP may be having an edge in the four states where elections are due in October-November. Congress sources, however, feel that the advantage that the BJP will gain in the near term will be lost by the time Lok Sabha elections are announced. "Elections are still six-seven months away and politics will not remain static. The impact will wear off soon," said a Congress source. He also said that the in the long run Modi's projection may work to the party's advantage by bringing about a consolidation of Muslims in favour of the Congress, adding that the disillusionment with Muslims in UP in the wake of communal clashes in the state will contribute to the process. Significantly, minority consolidation is not expected to be a big factor in the assembly polls because of the smaller Muslim populations in the four states, and as well as Congress, which for all practical purposes is the only secular rival of the BJP, is anyway assured of the lion's share of the support of the minority community. But even as there is recognition that Modi factor can boost the BJP, if temporarily, Congress does not fancy the idea of wheeling out its own heavy artillery to counter the saffron choice. A day after it anointed Modi as the PM candidate, the BJP stepped up its attack on the Congress for being coy about who is going to be their choice for the top job. Congress sources said that no decision has been taken to announce Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate. "No decision has been taken yet and there is no guarantee that we will have a PM candidate at all," a source said. BJP's plan to turn the 2014 elections into a presidential-style contest was a major factor which propelled its leaders to showcase Modi as their PM candidate even in the face of resistance from a group of seniors, led by L K Advani. The party has reckoned that they have an advantage in what it considers to be impressive credentials of Modi as a good administrator and a strong leader, and is likely to press it as elections draw close: a game plan may force Congress to assess its pros and cons of projecting Rahul. Cong hopes BJPâ€™s Modi edge to wane by LS polls - The Times of India ******************************* The Congress is discomfited with Modi's elevation and the large crowd that seems to gather when he speaks at public rallies. Indeed, attendance in rallies does not equate into votes. There are always those who are curious and want to have a look at what is causing all the hype. And then there are those to just want to enjoy a spectacle. The real issue is the cadres. They seems to have been given their dose of enthusiastic participation and there is no doubt that the workers are the one who, working at the grassroot level, make the difference by carrying the message and convincing the voter, playing on the mood of the people. In comparison, the Congress workers are down in their boots and desolate given the dismal performance of the UPA 2 and the high price rise of all commodities, especially food! They do have a very onerous task in having to convince the desolate voters! Minorities may veer to the Congress because of the dismal effort of the SP Govt in UP which has made the Muslims very angry, buyt then they are well aware of the hollow promises of the Congress. It is 'Behen' Mayawati who will reap the harvest since she is taken to be acceptable given the murky choices. Will the Modi wave continue or will it wane is the question since on that depends the votes and seats the BJP wishes to reap?