The MNS chief also said current trends and reports indicate that the ruling BJP could lose the upcoming Assembly election in Gujarat.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has said that a lot of credit for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory in the 2014 should go to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Mr Gandhi’s mocking Mr Modi, who was then Gujarat chief minister, did not go down well with voters and that helped him come to power, Mr Thackeray said. The MNS chief also said current trends and reports indicate that the ruling BJP could lose the upcoming Assembly election in Gujarat.
“Fifty per cent credit for Narendra Modi’s victory in the 2014 general elections goes to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The way he mocked Modi during the campaign, helped the latter win the polls,” Mr Thackeray told reporters at Kalyan on Friday night.
A further 15 per cent of the credit was due to the social media, around 10-20 per cent was due to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and also the Rashtriya Swayamsevakh Sangh (RSS) and the remaining was due to Mr Modi’s personal charisma, he said.
Mr Thackeray’s comment comes in the wake of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut saying that Mr Gandhi is capable of leading the country and that the ‘Modi wave’ had faded. Mr Thackeray had also said earlier that terming Mr Gandhi as “Pappu” by BJP was wrong.
On the Gujarat election, the MNS chief said, “The recent trends, as well as reports, indicate that the ruling party is likely to lose the elections. Some visuals of Modi’s public meetings are doing the rounds, which show that people are leaving the venue in groups during his address, which had never happened in the past. Even from this, one gets a message.”
Despite this, if the BJP gets more than 150 seats, it should be considered a miracle by the electronic voting machines (EVMs), Mr Thackeray said. Election to the 182-member Assembly in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, and results will be declared on December 18. Mr Thackeray also alleged that the Election Commission had “inordinately” delayed the announcement of Gujarat election dates under a lot of pressure.
“The EC and other statutory bodies should work independently. But it does not happen here,” he said.
On his party forcibly evicting hawkers from suburban railway stations in Mumbai, he said the MNS workers were not being given their due credit. “In fact, the administration can do it (evict hawkers), but it does not want to do so for various reasons,” he said.