Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a "gentle soul" and "economic genius" and his remark on Narendra Modi is what the Congress feels "strongly and bitterly," Union Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday.
"He is only expressing here what we all feel very passionately as far as (Congress vive-president) Rahul Gandhi is concerned and very strongly and bitterly as far as Narendra Modi is concerned," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
The external affairs minister said Congress is grateful to Singh for making the remark on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee which has been felt by party members across India.
"We are grateful to the prime minister that he has on a pan India stage expressed what we have felt for a long time," Khurshid said.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Singh said that Narendra Modi as prime minister will be "disastrous" for the country.
"If you measure the strength of prime minister by presiding over mass massacre of innocent citizens on streets of Ahmedabad, then I do not believe in it... I do not think that this kind of strength this country needs least from its prime minister," Singh had said.
When asked to comment on the prime minister's statement, Khurshid said that ministers only speak when the PM wants them to speak.
This is an important press conference that he did and there were certain messages he wanted to give to the country," Khurshid added. Lauding the Prime Minister, Khurshid said that he had the "privilege and honor" of working with a remarkable man and genius economist through difficult times.
"We have had unique privilege and honor to have served with such a remarkable man and a gentle soul and of course an economic genius through very difficult times. We still have the last lap to run. The victory lap is yet to be run," he added.
Asked about generational change in the Congress, Khurshid referring to Rahul said that the young leadership is already leading the party from the front. "Leadership of the Congress party is already there...we already have a young leadership...as Rahul who is the vice president of the party...he is already there and is leading us from the front," he added.