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Narendra Modi: Congress believes it can stall Modi’s bid for second term | India News

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NEW DELHI: Congress led by Rahul Gandhi believes the party is set to make substantial gains in states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, besides consolidating its lead in Punjab, and will be able to stall PM Narendra Modi’s bid for a second term .

A top party leader said Congress could pick up 60-odd seats at the expense of BJP and this would complicate Modi’s bid to retain the Prime Ministership as he was not temperamentally suited to working with allies, as was evident from the discomfort of regional parties in the NDA .

The leader saw only two possible outcomes to the next Lok Sabha elections, either a government led by the Congress or one by BJP but without Modi as the PM as he would not be acceptable to likely allies, present or future. The unease of parties like Shiv Sena, TDP and Akali Dal proved this, he added.

The view in Congress circles is that the BJP and Modi might well be restricted to a tally of 220 seats, considerably short of the 282 the saffron outfit won in 2014. Modi was not suited to alliance building and a leader like Rajnath Singh might be better equipped for coalitions, the Congress leader said in an informal interaction.

Congress believes the erosion in BJP’s fortunes has not been fully understood and the leader pointed to his party’s increased tally in Gujarat, something that was being discounted months ago. Congress managed to give BJP a bloody nose in Gujarat and this would encourage the party to do better in other state polls, the leader said.

The main opposition has been looking like a cohesive unit, as state leaders were acting in concert, more than has been the case in the past.

This led to positive results in recent elections such as Congress’s success in winning two Lok Sabha bypolls in Rajasthan where it had no representation, the leader said.

Congress’s calculations point to a deterioration in the support for BJP and a consequent rise in its own profile and there seems to be a clear view that Rahul Gandhi will lead the opposition charge and be a contender for the PM’s post. The party has decided to consistently raise issues such as lack of jobs and farm distress that seem to have put BJP on the defensive in the Gujarat election.

Updated: February 6, 2018 — 10:27 pm

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