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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Mandate slipping away from Modi, BJP won't cross 200 seats: Prashant Bhushan

Significantly, Bhushan also maintained that Congress ought to be leading the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc in Parliament if it managed to dislodge the NDA from power and not Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 14:13 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 14:13 IST

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Kolkata: Eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan predicted the BJP will not get past the 200-seat mark in the ensuing parliamentary elections since there is a "very strong nation-wide sentiment" against the party and a significant chunk of people consider it a "threat to democracy".

Significantly, Bhushan also maintained that Congress ought to be leading the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc in Parliament if it managed to dislodge the NDA from power and not Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.

Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent remarks on 'mutton, mangalsutra and buffaloes', Bhushan alleged that the PM has realised that the election was slipping away from his grasp and that’s why "he was giving out incendiary speeches out of desperation".

"I think there is a very strong sentiment against the BJP for multiple reasons. They (the BJP) are seen as a threat to democracy. They are also seen misusing their power to jail opposition leaders and block their supply of money. Hence there is a lot of anger against them," Bhushan told PTI in an interview here.

Bhushan was in Kolkata recently to participate in a seminar organised by a group of non-government organisations and activists.

The lawyer-activist further alleged that BJP's "communal propaganda" was also one of the several causes behind their declining popularity.

"By and large, people do not like these things. They see it as an attempt to divide the nation on communal lines which will weaken the country. Therefore, I feel that the BJP is not going to make a comeback. In my view, they should be struggling to get past 200 seats in the next Lok Sabha," Bhushan added.

On former PM HD Deve Gowda's remark that at the moment "none in India has the capacity to be the next prime minister, but only Modi", the lawyer disagreed, arguing that only hardcore supporters still view Modi as the sole option for PM.

"I do not think that most people are saying that (Modi is the only one to be the next PM) anymore. Other than their (BJP's) hardcore supporters, most people are not on the same page," he said.

"This is mostly because of the kind of statements that he (Modi) has been making in his campaigns that the Congress will take away your 'mangalsutra' and buffaloes and that Ambani-Adani are giving them loads of black money. These are remarks made in desperation. He is clearly seeing that the election is slipping away," he added.

During a rally at Banaskantha in Gujarat earlier this month and previously in Banswara, Rajasthan, Modi had alleged that the Congress will "snatch gold and mangalsutras of women" and distribute them among Muslims and also "take away their buffaloes" if it comes to power.

"Beware, the Congress will snatch your 'bhains'(buffaloes). If you have two buffaloes, the Congress will take away one if it wins the elections. You will be able to leave your child with only one buffalo," Modi had said.

Bhushan said if the opposition coalition forms the next government at the Centre, it would be the Congress which "will be its face" and the Trinamool Congress will "definitely" be part of it.

He, however, said he fails to see TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee as the face of the opposition conglomerate.

"If an opposition government is formed, the Trinamool Congress should certainly be part of it. But I do not think that Mamata Banerjee will be the face of the government. I think the face of the government should be somebody from the Congress, which will bag the maximum number of seats among the opposition parties," Bhushan said.

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Published 13 May 2024, 14:13 IST

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