Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday morning took on the Congress party and the others in the Opposition over the manner of their seat-sharing (or lack thereof) while contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Taking to Twitter, the PM has analysed the Opposition's formula for contesting the ongoing elections and appears to have come to the conclusion that they're not contesting enough seats.
He observes that the Congress won its lowest seats in the 2014 elections where it won a paltry 44 seats as compared to the 206 it had won in 2009. To put things into perspective, the next two biggest parties, regional powers AIADMK (led then by late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa) and the Trinamool (led then by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee) had won 37 and 34 seats respectively.
Despite its shambolic showing in the last general elections, the Congress is contesting the lowest number of seats in its history, the Prime Minister has observed, adding that the other parties - whom he refers to as the 'Mahamilavat' are also contesting just a handful of seats each. Linked to the tweet is a video from the PM's Mumbai rally on Friday night where he's boldly predicting that the BJP is going to win the election. The only question, he says, is whether the BJP will be able to better its 2014 result of 282 seats.
On Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also raised a point about how many seats the Congress was contesting, pegging the figure at 424 and claiming that it would rise as efforts to stitch together a Mahagathbandhan had failed.
"The Congress claims that it is now contesting in over 424 seats. This figure is likely to increase. Obviously, the Mahagathbandhan at a national level died before it was born," Jaitley had written.
Arun Jaitley's contention that the Congress has failed to stitch together a coalition of critical mass rings especially true with regard to the state of Uttar Pradesh where both Samajwadi Party and BSP have excluded it and are now attacking it with the claim that Rahul Gandhi's party would only eat into their votes.
In the same state, on Thursday, the Congress announced what's tantamount to a walkover for PM Modi for his own seat in Varanasi by not fielding Priyanka Vadra against him.