Jaitley: We are now on a comeback trail in K'taka

Jaitley: We are now on a comeback  trail in K'taka

 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday wondered whether the “marginalised” Congress will be the principal opponent to the NDA in the 2019 elections or if it would hide behind a hotchpotch of regional parties.

By contrast, the finance minister said the five state elections mark a significant geographical expansion for BJP.

There were not many takers in 2008 of the idea that the BJP would form its own government in Karnataka, seen as gateway to the south, Jaitley said in his blog post. “We are now on a come-back trail in Karnataka,” he added.

In a series of posers to Congress, he asked if the party would become a structured outfit with a galaxy of leaders or remain a dynastic party despite suffering spectacular poll reversals in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala.

“The Congress is, today, threatened with being pushed increasingly to the margins. Will it be the main challenger to the BJP led NDA in 2019, or will it stand behind a hotchpotch combination of ideologically disparate regional groups?” Jaitley asked. 

“What is the nature of ‘surgery’ the party leaders are now talking about? Will the Congress evolve into a structured party with a galaxy of leaders or will it remain a dynastic party?,” the union minister said.

In equally scathing remarks about the Left parties that lost considerable grounds in West Bengal despite winning Kerala, Jaitley said  their ideology is becoming increasingly irrelevant globally.

“The political and economic models that they espoused have been widely rejected. In India, it is their battle for an ideological survival,” Jaitley said.

“Their victory in Kerala is the result of an unpopular government losing an election and an opponent winning by default. Their marginalization in West Bengal, a State they ruled for 34 years, is significant. Extreme positions espoused by a few in the Universities of Jadhavpur and JNU cannot be a mainstream agenda of India,” he observed.

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