Poll verdict moral defeat for Modi, will talk with INDIA bloc if past allies to be contacted: Congress

09:00 AM Jun 05, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: After the BJP failed to get a majority of its own in Lok Sabha elections, the Congress claimed it was a mandate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as it showed readiness to explore opportunities of government formation saying it will decide on further action on Wednesday after meeting other INDIA bloc partners.


The Congress and other opposition parties will try to woo back former partners JDU and TDP into their fold and sources said some leaders have already connected with them and extended an olive branch.

The Congress made stunning gains with a stupendous performance in the general elections touching the 100-mark and emerging as a strong opposition in Lok Sabha.

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 bloc allies would meet on Wednesday and take a call on its future course of action.

Asked if the Congress and its allies will approach parties like JDU and TDP, which have been with them in the past but are now part of the NDA, in trying to form a 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,” Rahul Gandhi said when prodded further.

The Lok Sabha poll results and trends showed the BJP was set to become the single-largest party but would fall short of the magic figure of 272. The BJP-led NDA, however, has got a majority.
The INDIA bloc, on the other hand successfully put up a spirited fight with the Congress set to win 99 seats, close to double of its 2019 tally.

Kharge, when asked about the INDIA 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.

“We humbly accept the mandate of the 18th Lok Sabha elections. This is the victory of the people. This is the victory of democracy.

“This time people have not given an absolute majority to any single party. The ruling party — BJP especially — had asked for votes in the name of one person.

“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 INDIA alliance 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 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.

Rahul Gandhi said this general election was a fight to save the Constitution.

“It was on my mind that the people of this country would rally to save the Constitution. The first and biggest step towards saving the Constitution has been taken,” he said, adding that it was the poor and the marginalised who stood up.

He added that the Congress and the INDIA bloc have given India a new vision — a pro-poor vision.

“The main thing this election has said, the country has unanimously and clearly stated is that we do not want Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to be involved in the running of this country, we do not appreciate the way they have attacked the Constitution, we do not appreciate the way they have run this country for the last 10 years,” Gandhi said.

“I am extremely proud of the people of India and those who have resisted the attack on the Constitution. The poorest have done the job of saving the Constitution.

“This Constitution is the voice of the country,” he said, asserting that they will fulfil their promises of conducting a caste census and giving money to women under the “Mahalakshmi” scheme.

Drawing a parallel between the lowering of the BJP’s seats and the falling of the Adani stocks, he said, “People are directly correlating Modi and Adani. Modi ji is defeated, the stock market says if Modi ji has gone, Adani ji has gone. There is a direct relationship of corruption.”

He said all Congress leaders respected INDIA bloc allies and wherever the alliance fought “we fought as one”.

Gandhi offered special thanks to the electorate of Uttar Pradesh for supporting the Congress and “protecting” the Constitution.

Asked whether he would keep the Wayanad or Rae Bareli seat, Gandhi said he had not made a decision yet.

Meanwhile, Congress leader P Chidambaram said, “Mr Narendra Modi has forfeited his right to form a government.”

“The verdict of the people is that they want a new government to replace the Modi government. All political parties are obliged to respect the wishes of the people and pave the way for a new government,” he said.


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