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Is Modi wave over, asks Cong as PM files poll papers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets AIADMK's P Venugopal as other NDA leaders look on, ahead of filing his nomination papers for Lok Sabha polls, in Varanasi. (PTI Photo)

Is the Modi wave over, the Congress asked on Friday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed his nomination papers from Varanasi seeking a re-election to the Lok Sabha in the presence of leaders of coalition partners including the Shiv the Sena, the Akali Dal and the AIADMK.

Congress spokesperson Rajiv Shukla claimed that Modi had lost confidence to win the Lok Sabha elections on his own and is leaning on to his coalition partners, whom he may require after the election results are declared.

“Now he has realised that there is no question of the BJP getting a majority on its own. This is the reason he has gathered all the alliance partners,” Shukla, a former Union minister, said.

Before filing his nomination papers, Modi touched the feet of former Punjab chief minister and Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal and met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, AIADMK leaders M Thambidurai and O Pannerselvam.

BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari were also present.

Shukla said that the scene at Varanasi on Friday was in sharp contrast to that of 2014 when Modi had turned up alone to file his nomination papers.

The Congress also sensed a BJP defeat in Modi's appeal to voters to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

“Some people are creating an atmosphere that Modiji has already won and it is fine not to vote. Please don't fall into their trap. Voting is your right and everyone must exercise it,” the prime minister told reporters after filing his nomination papers from Varanasi.

“They are losing big in the three phases and that is why Prime Minister Modi had to appeal to people after his nomination that vote in large numbers,” Shukla said.

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