Asserting that the Congress is likely to emerge as the single largest party after the Lok Sabha elections, senior party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says a non-BJP formation will get a “comfortable majority” and form the government at the Centre.
Singhvi also claimed the BJP will face a deficit of 100-120 seats after suffering losses in various states and will not be able to compensate for the seats lost in those states.
“I have no doubt a non-BJP multi-party group will be in power after May 23. The exact complexion and numbers of that need not be talked about now,” he told PTI in an interview.
Asked if there is a possibility of a hung Parliament this time, Singhvi said there will be a “comfortable majority” of a non-BJP formation.
“I agree it is difficult to say that a single party will have a majority. There will be a very, very comfortable majority for pre-poll and post-poll alliance partners which are non-BJP, non-NDA,” Singhvi asserted.
On whether there is a possibility of the Congress being the single largest party, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “Since I think I would be exaggerating if I said that a single party would get a complete majority by itself. I think it is fair statement to make that the Congress is likely to be clearly the single largest party.”
Asserting that the BJP will suffer huge losses electorally as compared with last time, Singhvi said a party which had a “Modi wave and a strike rate of 90 per cent plus in 11 states” cannot improve on its performance this time in those states. Even if it comes down by 50 per cent from its previous showing in those states, there will be “no compensatory states”, he asserted.
There is a swathe of territory — Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu — where the BJP will hardly have any seats, including its allies like AIADMK, Singhvi said.
There is also no compensation available in states from the northeast where the citizenship bill has had a lot if resonance against the BJP,” he said.
“Even if you look for some improvement in the last two compensatory states — West Bengal and Odisha — a few seats here and there cannot wipe out the deficit of over 100-120 seats which they will lose only in the other states I have mentioned,” he said.
So where will the magical figure come from, he asked.
With the Congress be able to strike post-poll alliances with parties such as the SP, BSP and the TMC?
Singhvi answered with a counter-question — whether, in a post-poll scenario, any of these parties look closer to the BJP than to the Congress.
“Can the BJP count on these parties even for outside support…It is a given these parties will not look at the BJP irrespective of everything else,” he asserted.
On the BJP’s narrative of nationalism, Singhvi alleged nationalism and patriotism are two words that have been “debased and devalued” by the BJP not just now, but for the last five years.
The BJP’s definition of patriotism and nationalism is that anybody who thinks differently, looks differently, eats differently, dresses differently, anybody who disagrees with them, anybody with a different religion, is not a nationalist, nor a patriot.
This is the most distorted understanding of these two words ever in a multi-cultural country like India, he said.
“The BJP will rue the day when they let this genie out of the bottle. It will boomerang on them, it is already boomeranging on them. In fact they have not understood the idea of India which is a complete antithesis of this,” Singhvi said.
He said the Congress has successfully countered the BJP’s narrative with real issues like jobs and agrarian distress.