Congress has become a fringe party: Jaitley

Training guns on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over her remarks that Congress will cut into the votes of the BJP, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this is a “confessional statement of becoming a fringe organization” what the Congress leader said about being “votekatua party”. (PTI File Photo)

BJP, which had earlier given a controversial slogan of “Congress Mukta Bharat” on Thursday declared that the grand old party of Indian politics is now a ‘fringe’.

Training guns on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over her remarks that Congress will cut into the votes of the BJP, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this is a “confessional statement of becoming a fringe organization” what the Congress leader said about being “votekatua party”.

Ridiculing the Congress which was reduced to a mere 44 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 30 years after it had won 404 seats post Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Jaitley said that not only it has become a fringe party because of its strength going down but its stance on national security issues is not of a mainstream party.

Recalling that Congress used to be a party of 300-400 seats during the times of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, he said it became a party of 125-150 seats during Rajiv Gandhi's era and is now a party of 40-70 seats, he said. He termed the 2009 elections in which the Congress had won 206 seats as an exception.

“Congress is turning out to be a fringe party. The grand old party of India is now a fringe organisation,” he said.

Apart from some BJP leaders, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in Parliament that he was pursuing Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'. After Congress 3:0 victory in Hindi belt states Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the BJP has not used the “Congress Mukt Bharat” phrase.

Jaitley also dismissed the temple tripping by Congress leaders calling them "chunavi Hindus" (Hindus during elections) .

He was replying to a question about Congress leader Digvijay Singh inviting a group of 'sadhus' to Bhopal, from where he is contesting against BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.

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