Press Trust of India

BJP will be a loser, says Rahul

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Claims internal assessment by Congress shows BJP is way behind

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said his party’s internal assessment after four phases of polling shows that the BJP will lose in the Lok Sabha elections and he sees a “scared prime minister” unable to face the onslaught of the opposition.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, he stated that it was said five years ago that Modi cannot be defeated and will rule for 10-15 years, but the Congress has “demolished” him.
“The structure that is standing is hollow. It is going to fall in 10-15 days,” Gandhi, who was flanked by senior Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala, said.
With more than half the election process completed, there is a clear cut feeling that PM Modi is losing, Gandhi claimed.
“There is an undercurrent and the BJP is losing. I don’t see a strategic campaign by the BJP…I see a scared prime minister unable to face the onslaught of the opposition and a PM who is absolutely convinced in his mind that he is trapped and he is not going to succeed,” he said, adding that the BJP’s is a “panicky campaign”.
He expressed confidence of a very good showing of the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.
On the issue of his apology to the Supreme Court for attributing the ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (the watchman is a thief) slogan to it, Gandhi said he apologised as there was a process on in the court and he had commented on that.
However, he added that he stands by his slogan against the BJP and the prime minister for corruption in the Rafale deal.
The Congress chief once again challenged Modi to debate him on issues such as employment and corruption.
“I can debate him anywhere apart from Anil Ambani’s home,” he said.
Gandhi also slammed the prime minister over the Rafale agreement and said if Modi agrees to a debate, he will ask him to explain why parallel negotiations were carried out in the deal.
“In the Rafale deal, the ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) has stolen Rs 30,000 crore,” he alleged.
First time defence ministry officials have written that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is directly negotiating with France, Gandhi alleged.
“What does it mean. Why is the PMO holding parallel negotiations, it has to be a money transaction. Why has Anil Ambani got Rs 1000 crore tax rebate in France. There is going to be zero tolerance on corruption,” Gandhi said.
Asked about who will be the prime minister after the election, he said people have to decide who will be PM.
“The main issues are of employment, farmers, PM’s corruption, and attack on institutions,” Gandhi said.
The biggest issues are of unemployment and that Modi has destroyed the Indian economy, he said.
“The country wants to know from the Prime Minister. You had told the youth that you would give 2 crore jobs in a year, and today unemployment, is at a 45 year-high. Congress party’s manifesto’s first chapter is on jobs. We have given all the details, how we will make jobs available, the benefits of Nyay scheme,” Gandhi said.
Modi does not say a word about employment, because he cannot say anything as there is neither any plan nor there is any record, he claimed.
“First, he used to talk about corruption. Now wherever you say chowkidar, people say ‘chor hai’. Narendra Modi’s system is to distract. When he sees he is losing he comes out with some distraction like the sea plane in Gujarat,” Gandhi claimed.
But, the reality is that he is losing the elections, he said.
Gandhi also elaborated on the Congress’s proposed minimum income guarantee scheme Nyay, saying it aims to put money directly in the bank account of the poorest people and also jump-start India’s economy.
“Narendra Modi demonetised the economy, Nyay yojana will remonetise it,” he said.
“As soon as the Nyay yojana money will come, people will start buying, shops will get impetus and then factories will get more work and jobs will be generated,” he said.
Gandhi also listed other key promises of the Congress such as 22 lakh government jobs to youths within a year and 10 lakh jobs in panchayats.
“What is the BJP doing about jobs. Everybody has said Congress manifesto is an effective document as it is the voice of the people. What has Modi promised,” he said.
“Congress has fought on the ground and changed the narrative. The country is in danger,” he claimed.
Gandhi also took a swipe at Modi over not holding press conferences during his tenure, saying “please tell the Prime Minister to do a couple of press conferences as it is really looking very bad”.
“He is looking terrible on the international stage, Indian Prime Minister does not have the guts to stand in front of the Indian media,” he said. (PTI)

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