Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | 'Bees saal baad' it will be '2004 moment' on June 4: Jairam Ramesh

The Congress general secretary exuded confidence that the June 4 results day would be reliving of the '2004 moment' when the saffron party was unseated from power despite its 'India Shining' campaign.
Last Updated : 21 May 2024, 12:50 IST
Last Updated : 21 May 2024, 12:50 IST

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New Delhi: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said a "2004 moment" will be witnessed on June 4 with the I.N.D.I.A. bloc getting a clear mandate in the Lok Sabha polls, and asserted that a primary factor in the alliance's "strong performance" would be a "hugely impressive" turnaround in Uttar Pradesh.

In an interview with PTI, Ramesh also used cricketing terminology to claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was nurturing a "communal pitch" but his party had refused to play on it and had also successfully navigated his "googlies and bouncers".

The Congress general secretary exuded confidence that the June 4 results day would be reliving of the "2004 moment" when the saffron party was unseated from power despite its 'India Shining' campaign.

"This is a 2004 moment, you will see. People keep asking me who will be the prime minister, I must remind you that the results of the 2004 election came out on May 13, 2004. By May 17, it was clear that Manmohan Singh was going to be the prime minister. This time it may be even quicker, and in any case, elections in India are not a beauty contest, not a 'kaun banega PM', it is about which coalition will get a mandate," Ramesh told PTI.

"We are a party-centred democracy. We are not like the American system, it is not a beauty contest between individuals, it is a choice between parties. This is a 2004 moment. In 1962, a film was released based on the Sherlock Holmes mystery -- The Hound of the Baskervilles -- Bees saal Baad starring Waheeda Rehman and Biswajeet...what happened in 2004, 'bees saal baad', you will see that repeating," he said.

Ramesh also expressed confidence that there would be a "dramatic turnaround" in Uttar Pradesh.

Noting that the road to Delhi is through Lucknow because Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats, Ramesh pointed out that the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra had gotten a tremendous response in places such as Prayagraj, Varanasi, Pratapgarh, Lucknow, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Aligarh, Moradabad, Amroha and Sambhal.

In Uttar Pradesh, youth, women, SCs, STs, OBCs came out in support of the yatra, he said.

"I think there has been a complete disenchantment and disillusionment with the PM because the people are fed up with him. He (Modi) is tired, he is jaded and he is faded. One of the primary contributing factors in our strong performance on June 4 when the results come out, would be a hugely impressive turnaround in UP," Ramesh said.

In the 2019 polls, the BJP had won 62 seats, NDA ally Apna Dal got 2 seats, while the Mahagathbandhan (SP, BSP, RLD) had won 15 seats and the Congress got one.

Ramesh alleged that Modi had been indulging in polarisation throughout the election and preparing a "communal pitch", but the Congress refused to play on that and pursued its 'paach nyay' agenda.

"I don't want to use the cricketing language too much. There is a pitch which he nurtures everyday, we still have nine days more. The campaigning ends on May 30. What new things he will bring on the communal pitch only he knows, because he is the 3D master -- master of distortion, diversion and defamation," Ramesh said.

"He (PM Modi) is trying to bowl googlies, he is trying to bowl bouncers, he is doing 'bodyline' but we have successfully navigated his googlies, bouncers...we've bowled a few googlies and bouncers back at him which he has tried to avoid but he has not been able to avoid," Ramesh said in a lighter vein.

However, more seriously, it is the combined effort of 'paanch nyay pachchees guarantee' programme, the campaigning by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has campaigned so magnificently, that has worked in the party's favour, he said.

"Ultimately it is the people who want to vote for us. It is 'people versus Modi', not just the I.N.D.IA. 'janbandhan' versus Modi, it is the farmers versus Modi, women versus Modi, it is labour versus Modi, it is youth versus Modi, it is the social engineering, the SCs, STs, OBCs against Modi," the Congress general secretary said.

"This is an election when people are rising up very quietly and sending a message to this jaded and faded prime minister '-- you are the outgoing PM and on June 4 you will be going out," Ramesh said.

Elections have been held on 428 seats but just after two phases only it was clear that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc will get a decisive mandate and the BJP will be 'saaf' in the South and half in North, West, and East, he said, adding that his assessment is based on the feedback from workers and social organisations.

"After April 19, PM Modi's language has changed. He did not talk about viksit bharat but started his Hindu-Muslim rhetoric, mangalsutra, religion-based reservations, buffaloes, what all he has not said... he is preparing a communal pitch but we are not leaving our pitch of 'paanch nyay pachchees guarantees'," he said.

"I think the PM is rattled...he used to talk about 400 paar and Modi ki guarantee, but has forgotten about that. He is the outgoing Prime Minister and I.N.D.I.A. bloc will get a clear and decisive mandate on June 4," Ramesh said.

After the fifth phase on Monday, voting has been completed in 428 constituencies out of 543 in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Two more phases -- on May 25 and June 1 -- are remaining now. Counting of votes is on June 4.

Published 21 May 2024, 12:50 IST

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