Congress closed 90% doors for Modi: Rahul

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

After a gruelling Lok Sabha campaign, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the Opposition had closed 90% chances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi striking fresh alliances to retain power at the Centre.

Addressing a press conference here, Rahul firmly refused to join the guessing game over the possible numbers the Congress would win and insisted that he would wait for the people's verdict on May 23.

At the same time, he said the Congress played its role in the Opposition quite well despite lacking in numbers in the Lok Sabha after the 2014 elections, contending that his party had succeeded in cornering Modi on a number of issues.

"We have dismantled the idea of Narendra Modi," the Congress president said.

For the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul said, the Opposition had put in motion a strategy two years ago by "systematically closing every door Narendra Modi could open", referring to new alliances the BJP could forge to retain power at the Centre.

"We are proud to say that we closed 90% of the doors he could escape through. And he closed 10% of them for us. He helped us by being abusive to people like (Chandrababu) Naidu, or with people who actually had worked with him in the past," Rahul t said.

On the post-election scenario, Rahul said he does not see BSP chief Mayawati, SP veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee or Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu supporting the BJP.

The Congress did not have pre-poll alliances with SP-BSP in Uttar Pradesh, Trinamool in West Bengal and TDP in Andhra Pradesh. "But, yes, secular formations are going to win in these states," Rahul said.

However, the Congress had contested the Lok Sabha elections as part of a coalition in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Jharkhand, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir.

With Rahul and Modi addressing press conferences simultaneously, the Congress president utilised the opportunity to pose questions to the prime minister on the Rafale deal.

"Why did you not debate with me on the Rafale deal? I want to ask you about the Rs 30,000 crore you gave to Anil Ambani," Rahul said.

The Congress president also accused the Election Commission of being biased in favour of the prime minister and the BJP.

"The election schedule was drawn up to suit Narendra Modi's campaign. Modi and BJP had access to unlimited money, marketing and TV, while all we have is truth. And truth will win," he said.

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