Kharge confident of winning 46 seats in Maharashtra

Kharge said that BJP is toppling opposition parties' governments in the states, but opposition parties are together fighting against the BJP

Mumbai: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday claimed that the INDIA bloc is going to win 46 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and the opposition bloc will form the next government in the country. He also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misusing the central agencies against the opposition. He held a joint press conference with Shiv Sena UBT leader Uddhav Thackeray and NCP founder Sharad Pawar on the last day of campaigning for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

The Congress president said that the BJP is toppling the opposition parties’ governments in the states, but the opposition parties are together fighting against the BJP. “We are strong in Maharashtra. I think we can win 46 seats out of 48 seats in the state,” he said.

Mr. Kharge alleged that the constitutional institutions are being misused to issue threats to the opposition parties. “Even the party symbols were taken away from the opposition parties and given to those who are supporting the BJP. Everything is being done on the instruction of Narendra Modi,” he said.

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar said Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was not an election issue, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to polarize people by talking about him during his campaign rally here.

Mr. Modi, in his speech here on Friday, dared Mr. Pawar to make Congress leader Rahul Gandhi promise that he would not criticise the late freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue ever again. “Savarkar is not an election issue, and Rahul has not spoken about him (lately). But Modi's speech was divisive and meant to instigate, polarise. I have never seen such a prime minister,” Mr. Pawar said.

Mr. Thackeray said the INDIA bloc's government will complete the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, while Mr. Pawar said it will be the duty of their government to protect not just temples, but the places of worship of all religions.

Claiming that the INDIA alliance has several prime ministerial faces, Mr. Thackeray said the BJP has only one and even that is not working. “Now they cannot replace the face at the fag end of poll campaign. We have decided what we should do when we get the majority,” he said.

To a question on his party's stand on Article 370, Mr. Kharge said, “I am not answerable to Modi. We will implement what we have promised in our manifesto.”

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