Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday praised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for their “hard work”, saying their party will get enough seats to bag the Leader of Opposition’s post in the new Lok Sabha.
In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said, “They worked hard. The Congress will be successful as a strong Opposition party.”
The editorial further stated that Mr Gandhi could not win (enough) seats to get the post in 2014. This time, the Congress will have a Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. This will surely be Rahul Gandhi’s success, the Sena said sarcastically.
In 2014, the BJP bagged 282 seats while the Congress managed to win only 44 seats. In order to get the Leader of Opposition’s post, the party concerned must have at least 10 per cent of the total strength of the House.
The Sena also expressed confidence that a government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be re-elected for a second term as “the exit polls show a clear trend in the BJP-led NDA’s favour”.
Elections to 542 seats of 543-member Lok Sabha ended on Sunday and counting of votes is scheduled for Thursday. Most exit polls have forecast another term for Mr Modi, with some of them projecting that the BJP-led NDA would get over 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark.
The editorial read, “There was no need for political pundits to say the Modi government will be re-elected. The situation on the ground was such that people were leading the poll campaign and had made up their mind to vote Modi back to power.”
Taking cognisance exit polls showing a “clear trend” in favour of the Modi-led government, the Sena said there are also predictions of the BJP having a clear lead in the Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and also in West Bengal, where the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC is in power. It also claimed that the Sena-BJP alliance would register a historic win in Maharashtra too.
“Modi will be the Prime Minister again and the Congress and other opposition parties will fail to make a mark. But, it is better to wait till May 23 for the actual results,” said the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre.
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