Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday declined to agree that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would pose a big challenge to his party and the United Progressive Alliance in the coming parliamentary elections. He dismissed claims of Gujarat development as media-hype. Gujarat today had the highest per capita loan and it did not figure among the first three States which attracted the highest investment in FDI, he told a press conference here.

Accusing Mr. Modi of failing to achieve inclusive development, Mr. Singh said the number of people below the poverty line had gone up in Gujarat since 2002 and malnutrition was very high.

Earlier, addressing cadres in Goa for the first time after taking over as in-charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh and Goa, Mr. Singh asked them to counter the BJP’s “disinformation campaign.”

“Social media is something you cannot ignore. The IT cell of the party has to become proactive and work with technology-savvy people at the helm of the affairs. We have to increase the number of people on social media and have to be active to counter the continued disinformation campaign by the BJP.”

At the press conference, he said with a chuckle: “See the difference in our presence on social media in the next three months, though I am the most abused person on the social media.”

In reply to a question, Mr. Singh said the Congress respected the mandate of the people of Goa and would continue to work as constructive opposition.

He, however, accused Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of trying to browbeat local self-government representatives and calling that a “fascist streak in him.” To another query, he said the Congress would go for an aggressive membership drive in the State.