Congress leaders appear to be preparing themselves to play the role of the Opposition after they conceded that the BJP may emerge the single largest party after the 16th Lok Sabha elections.
However, leaders are also anticipating a situation wherein the third front – the non-Congress, BJP conglomeration – would emerge as the single largest group after the polls. Senior leaders have given indications that there would be no effort on the party’s behalf to cobble up support to form the government.
Initial surveys carried out by the Congress indicated that the party may slip below 100 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha. But after ticket distribution, hopes for better prospects have risen. “The Congress will perform better in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. You can even expect some surprises in Rajasthan,” a senior Congress leader said. In Rajasthan, the Congress registered its worst-ever defeat in December’s state Assembly elections.
The leader said that the Congress could even win 140 seats on its own in the elections, but added that it would not endeavour to form the government.