Rahul in focus; I.N.D.I.A. meet to discuss future

Gandhi said the INDIA allies would meet on Wednesday and take a call on its next steps

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha poll outcome was a mandate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it was his “political and moral defeat”, the Congress said on Tuesday while announcing it would consult the I.N.D.I.A. bloc allies on whether to approach old partners JD(U) and the TD for government formation, boosted by a grand revival in the Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a joint press conference at the Congress headquarters here along with party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi said the INDIA allies would meet on Wednesday and take a call on its next steps.

Asked if the Congress and its allies would approach parties that have been with them in the past but are part of the NDA now in trying to form government, he said, “We are going to have a meeting with our partners tomorrow. These questions will be raised and answered there.”

“We won't say anything without seeking the opinion of our allies. Our alliance will decide tomorrow and whatever they decide we will act on that,” said Rahul Gandhi, who won both his elections at Wayanad and Rae Bareli and led the party to a near-three digit finish.

Kharge, when asked about the I.N.D.I.A. bloc's possibility of government formation, said, “As long as we do not talk to alliance partners, and the new partners who may join, how can we say that? If I reveal all strategies here, Modi ji will become alert.”

He said the election results are a victory for democracy and the people, who have given a clear message against PM Modi.

Addressing a press conference Rahul Gandhi said, “The fight was to save the Constitution. When they cancelled our bank accounts, jailed a Chief Minister, and broke up parties, it was in my mind that Indians would fight together for the Constitution. And this was proven to be true. In this election, all Congress leaders did a few things: respected I.N.D.I.A. partners, took them together, and gave a clear vision to the country. India has told Modi it does not want him. The country has unanimously said: We do not want Modi and Amit Shah involved in running this country.”

Gandhi had launched his campaign with a Bharat Jodo Yatra across the length and breadth of the country. From ‘pappu’ to ‘shehzade’, Rahul Gandhi has been the prime target of BJP’s ridicule for years. Jabs at the Gandhi family have been the BJP leader’s main line of attack at the main Opposition Congress in every election over the past decade.

Visuals of Gandhi petting puppies, hugging people and chatting with people from every section of the society, from students to truck drivers to mechanics, showed a side of him the country had not seen before.

Rahul Gandhi ensured that he kept the campaign on defending the Constitution while Priyanka was responding to the charges and claims being hurled at the Congress by the BJP. Priyanka also took up the task of leading the Congress’ campaign in family strongholds Amethi and Rae Bareli. The 2024 election also saw her emergence as an orator who charms the audience and also connects with them. Her counterstrike to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charge that the Congress plans to bring a wealth distribution plan and would take away "mangalsutra" had made national headlines.

Rahul Gandhi also said, “We thank our voters that they have stood up and defended the constitution.” He further added, "In Uttar Pradesh, my sister Priyanka had a big role, UP residents did a wonderful job. The people of UP understood the politics of the country and the danger to the Constitution, and they safeguarded the Constitution. I thank them for supporting Congress party and I.N.D.I.A. bloc.”

Kharge said at the press conference: “It is now clear that this mandate is against Modi ji. This is his political and moral defeat,” Kharge asserted.

He claimed the Congress and the I.N.D.I.A. block fought the elections in a very hostile environment, as the government machinery “created obstacles at every step”, including the seizing of bank accounts.

“We had been saying that this battle is between the public and Modi,” the Congress chief said, adding that the people “saw through lies spread by the prime minister” about the main opposition party's manifesto.

“People were convinced that if Modi ji got another chance, the next attack would be on the Constitution. People will see the proof of this in the new Parliament session. It is a matter of happiness that BJP will not be able to succeed in this conspiracy now,” he said.

The Congress chief said that in the coming days, “we all have to keep fighting for the rights of the people, for the protection of the Constitution, for the progress of the country and security on the borders”.

“We have to ensure that the Parliament runs smoothly. The issues of the opposition should be given priority. They should be debated in the Parliament. The coming days will be important,” Kharge said and thanked all alliance partners as well as his party's workers and leaders for the result

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