On March 14 2008, Narendra Modi and Digvijaya Singh appeared together on a panel at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi. It was such a rare event, as top leaders of the two parties have seldom sparred with each other directly in public. It was also very civil and quite stirring. Both know their lines and politics. Neither is known to take any prisoners.
For once, however, Digvijaya, certainly the more experienced and bilingual of the two, was stumped. Modi asked him, how did he justify dynastic rule in his party. Digvijaya recovered quickly, though. This, he said, was common enough in democracies around the world. For evidence, he said, look at America and the Clintons. This is precisely when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in a close battle for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. Digvijaya’s short point was, if nobody is complaining about the Clintons in America, why should we keep complaining about the Gandhis in India.
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