Congress President Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: PTI)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday asserted BJP would not win the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi might lose from Varanasi under a 'united' Opposition
He predicted a "collapse" not "seen in many years" for the current dispensation and exuded confidence over roping in and managing alliance partners despite their varied personal and regional aspirations
Gandhi was having an informal interaction with the media here on the conclusion of his sixth leg of campaign for the May 12 Karnataka assembly polls
Pegging his confidence on opposition unity, he said far from the BJP winning the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, even Modi might lose from Varanasi if Congress, SP and BSP were united against him.
"Frankly, I don't see BJP winning the next election, so in 2019 we will go back to the normal, I sense," he said in reply to a question on "Dalit anger".
"Because there are two basic things, once opposition unity goes above a certain level, it becomes impossible to win elections. Now the opposition unity has gone to a point. It's simple," he said
Pointing to opposition unity efforts in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the eastern state of Bihar and by DMK, Trinamool Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, Gandhi asked, "Where are they (BJP) going to win seats"
And in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab. We will take it over."
"You are going to see a collapse of the style you haven't seen in many years," he said
To a question doubting the forging of opposition unity amid varied aspirations of each party and their leaders, Gandhi expressed confidence of overcoming it
"We will manage it. We in Congress know how to carry people, we are not egotistical people, we don't crush people and we don't destroy people's lives, so we will manage it," he said
The basic thing is how to get the country out of the "mess that Mr Modi and RSS has put it in," he said
The Congress president also ruled out emergence of any third front
Stating that Modi had a "very good" opportunity after the 2014 election, Gandhi said a lot could have been done for the country
He termed as "funny", BJP's confidence of breaking the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh
Gandhi claimed that he understands UP politics, saying that when the three parties (SP, BSP and Congress) come together, "BJP will win only two seats, that too with luck."
He said even Modi may lose if he stands from Varanasi and the three parties were united against him
"In fact, I challenge him to stand with three parties united," he added
The BSP and the SP jointly fought Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats during the recent bypolls, costing the BJP both the seats, vacated respectively by Uttar Pradesh chief minister and deputy chief minister
Hitting out at Modi and BJP, the Congress president said they have lost track of running the country
"You can't run this country as an individual, you have to run this country by listening to it, by working with it," he said
Responding to a question, he blamed "mentality" for Modi and BJP losing track
Addressing a public rally to mark the culmination of "Janashirvad Yatra" that covered all regions of the state, Gandhi asserted that the mood in Karnataka was in favour of his party and it would win the May 12 polls
He also accused the Narendra Modi government of discriminating against the Congress-ruled Karnataka.
"Karnataka's mood is in favour of Congress party and we will the election," Gandhi said, winding up the last lap of his "yatra", which he devoted to mainly attack the Modi regime
The visit also saw Gandhi go to temples and other religious places and interact with Hindu seers, besides holding roadshows and mingling with crowds
Gandhi said the Karnataka elections was a "fight between two ideologies."
"On one side Congress that like Bengaluru works for joining every one, spreads brotherhood and love. On the other side BJP, RSS and Nagpur's ideology. It's the ideology of spreading anger, hate and dividing," he alleged
He also said when the southern state of Karnataka faced drought for the last four years, it was given less money compared to other states
Gandhi claimed the west central state of Maharashtra was given Rs 8,000 crore for drought and the western state of Gujarat Rs 3,800 crore while Karnataka got Rs 1,400 crore.