Sub-100 tally for Cong will pose serious threat to Gandhisâ€™ leadership: Modi NEW DELHI: The Gandhis could face a serious challenge to their leadership of the Congress as it's likely to get less than 100 Lok Sabha seats, BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi told TOI in an exclusive interview, his most exhaustive to date. "The fight is now for the relevance of the Gandhi family as unquestioned leaders of Congress party. Their target is to somehow cross the hundred seat mark so that their leadership is not challenged. I see all possibility of Congress falling below hundred seats, and if that happens, there will be a serious churning within the Congress party over the issue of leadership," Modi said. On the possibility of Priyanka replacing Rahul, he said, "It is for the Congress to take these decisions post the election results. However, it seems odd that a national party like the Congress should not be able to think beyond the Gandhi family." Responding to a question about minorities being wary of him, Modi said Congress and some other parties had tried to resort to "fear-mongering", but expressed confidence that this would not work. "Today, it is anachronistic to think that a community will not be interested in the theme of development and good governance. It is the politics of vote banks which has done maximum damage to our country in the last 60 years. Now, this type of politics has attained its expiry date," he said in an email interview. Modi had tough words for law minister Kapil Sibal over 'Snoopgate', saying Sibal used his legal acumen to serve personal and party interests rather than national interest and had been trying for long to ensnare him. "If Sibal were to have his way, not only would he have found a judge, but he would have obtained the kind of report that he wants so badly," said Modi. Referring to the law minister describing him as a "potential suspect" in the Tulsidas Pajapati case, he said only Sibal could coin a term like "potential accused" which gave away "his very old desire to somehow implicate me in some or the other false case". Responding to questions about CBI's investigations against him, Modi said insulating CBI from political diktat ranks high on his agenda. "It will be our endeavour to ensure CBI is no longer an institution that can be manipulated to achieve political ends," he said. On the possibility of immunity for Robert Vadra, he said, "It would be absurd to even debate that anyone can be granted immunity from law, even if that person is me." Modi explained his focus on the economy, saying India must prepare for a "jobs war" and stressed the need for a clearer view of the growth versus environment debate so that projects are not delayed due to manipulation of green norms. "The problem arises when the procedure for environment clearances is used in a mala fide manner for rent-seeking. I am convinced that we can move towards a win-win situation wherein all environment concerns will be adequately addressed, but not at the cost of project delays," he said. He added that he would bring the focus back to infrastructure and manufacturing, seek to control inflation through supply side measures, and help revive investor sentiment. Touching on foreign relations, Modi said ties with Pakistan could improve only if it took effective and demonstrable action against terror networks that operate from its soil. However, he added, "We should not be constrained by what has happened in the past if the present throws up a new possibility in terms of solutions." He was more optimistic on ties with China, saying it was possible to solve bilateral problems and take the relationship to another level. He denied that the US decision to not give him a visa would affect bilateral ties, saying the two countries were natural partners and matters concerning one individual should not be allowed to influence relations. On the challenge of Maoism and terrorism, Modi called for a "zero tolerance" approach. He said the state should step up its capabilities against what he called the "biggest" internal security threat and keep all options open, "regardless of what are the reasons for people to resort to violence". He elaborated, "We can chose to deal with issues the way we want to, but our response should not be constrained by unavailability of options." Asked about the composition of his ministry if voted to office, he answered, "It is a relevant question, but premature." He was non-committal when asked whether he would retain the Varanasi or Vadodara seat if he won both. "The party will decide," was his short reply. On speculation that he would work more through bureaucrats than ministers, which is perceived as his style of functioning in Gujarat, he said, "The buck stops with the political executive. The BJP and its NDA partners have got the most experienced and talented people to run the government. We have to work as a team." Addressing fears that an NDA government would scrap social programmes like NREGA, he said, "We are committed to the effective implementation of NREGA. However, there is a need to analyze the costs and benefits in a professional manner. We cannot let so much public money be spent without creating any durable assets." Sub-100 tally for Cong will pose serious threat to Gandhisâ€™ leadership: Modi - The Times of India ***************************************************************** There is no doubt that Rahul Gandhi has proved or so is the popular opinion that he is a total failure to lead a political party. He just does not apparently possess the chemistry that is essential to be a politician or a leader. On the other hand, Priyanka Gandhi, though a pleasant face, but has hardly displayed a grasp of the facts and issues of governance and sadly, both Rahul and she have surprisingly substituted taking on the opposition with a display, as if that is the soul of governance, of emotional high notes about 'sacrifices' of their grandmother and father rather than concentrating on the achievement of the UPA with competitive facts and statistics, leaving one in wonderment if incantation of the Nehru Gandhi name and sacrifice is the sum and substance of governing India! To quote from Swagato Ganguli's blog in TOI (6 May) "End of Nehruvian Consensus?", there were 85% voters in the first General Election in 1952. Today it is not so the case. While the Gandhi Nehru name may have spun magic in 1952 and successive years, yet today, because of the perceived notion that the pathetic condition that the name has landed India in, it appears that this family name would no longer be the magic to conjure votes. Apparently, the what appears as mushy sentiments of 'sacrifice' of the Family Gandhi will not be the sole elixir to win elections. It may just, but not for long. People do want a better life with better amenities and jobs and not mere dreams and vacuous mush spun at election time. One wonders if Modi has correctly analysed that the family name of Nehru Gandhi has gone past its expiry date, and if the Congress is in sub 100 tally, it will be Davy Jones Locker for the Gandhis, considered to be the First Family of the Congress.