Can't underestimate opposition: PM

New Delhi, Dec 6 : Recognizing the challenge posed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he does not underestimate their power.

Answering questions after addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here, Singh said: "As it is an organised party, we cannot underestimate the power of opposition to unsettle the ship of the state. Therefore, I am one of those who take very seriously our opponents. There is no room for complacency."

He further said: "The Congress is going to the elections with a sense of self-confidence ... whatever may be the outcome of the provincial assembly elections."

Earlier, while addressing the summit Singh said India's 'silent majority' exercises its franchise in legitimate democratic ways to secure and change.

"Governments have been elected and re-elected in every state of our Republic through peaceful, fair and efficiently organized elections within the context of an India that is changing faster than ever before.

"Once in a while, public anger may spill over onto our streets and into the media, but India's 'silent majority' exercises its franchise in legitimate democratic ways to secure and change," said the PM.

"Over the past two years, some well-meaning and concerned citizens have tried to spread cynicism by accusing the entire political class of being corrupt and anti-people. Many began to suggest that democracy had not served India well. They attacked the institution of Parliament by refusing to respect Parliament's judgment.

"Did that turn our people against democracy? Did that make them despair about the electoral system? No. Look at the voter turnout at every election over the past two years and in the just concluded Assembly elections," he said.

"Even in the face of churning ambitions and rising expectations, the people of our country choose to vote and secure change through democratic means," said Singh.

--IBNS (Posted on 06-12-2013)

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