Senior Congress leader and former Lok Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge claimed people were able to vote and fight polls because Congress party saved democracy, at a rally on Sunday, October 13. The Congress lashed out at the ruling BJP for questioning the contribution of the Congress in the country's progress, while addressing the rally in Ausa in Latur, Maharashtra.
He said, "The BJP is asking what has Congress done till now. We can answer it. We saved democracy. Hence people are contesting elections today. And we can see Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah campaigning in Maharashtra."
"We have saved the country and the Constitution. The BJP should tell the country what it has done in the past five years and we will tell them what we did in five decades," he added. Hitting out at the Maharashtra government, Kharge said it promised to waive off Rs 35,000 crore loans of 90 lakh farmers but had not managed to reach even half the target. He said the BJP was projecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asking votes in the name of national issues as it had nothing to show by way of performance in Maharashtra.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi hit out the Modi government for India's unemployment by talking about India's lunar mission - Chandrayaan, while addressing a public rally at Latur, ahead of the elections in Maharashtra. He stated that the Centre was diverting people's attention by talking about Chandrayaan-2 rather than jobs. He stirred a controversy by saying India's moon mission will not feed hungry citizens. He also stated that the government would talk about the moon and Kashmir rather than 'real issues'.
Condemning the Centre's moves such as demonetisation and GST, he said the economy had been destroyed due to these moves. He assured that while Congress candidates did not talk about the moon, they would deliver on their promises. He also expressed pride in Maharashtra being the foundation of the Congress party. He also assured that Congress would definitely win Latur.
Maharashtra which has 288 Assembly seats will vote on October 21, 2019. Maharashtra assembly elections will be held in a single-phase and the counting procedure would be conducted on October 24. Shiv Sena will contest for polls from 124 constituencies, the BJP will contest from 150 and its allies will contest from 14 constituencies. Meanwhile, Congress in alliance with Sharad Pawar's NCP, have decided to contest 125 seats each in the 288-member assembly, leaving the remaining 38 seats for its allies. Currently, the BJP holds 122 seats while the Shiv Sena holds 63 seats and the Opposition held by UPA has 42 seats.
(With PTI inputs)