New Delhi: In the runup to the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday that the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ was a self-destructive ‘coalition of rivals’ so the choice before voters would be either “Modi or chaos”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government is seeking a second term following the seven-phase elections beginning on April 11. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

‘Mahagathbandhan’ is the coming together of several parties, like the Congress, the SP, the BSP, and the TMC, who have joined hands to form a grand coalition to take on the NDA.

In his blog, it is this coalition that Jaitley has targeted. “What was promised to be ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is turning out to be a ‘gathbandhan’ of several conflicting gathbandhans. It is a self-destructive ‘coalition of rivals’,” he said. He wrote that the leadership issue in the Opposition camp was a puzzle.

Attacking Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said, “He is tried, tested and failed. His lack of understanding of issues is frightening. He aspires to be the leader of this chaotic pack”.

He said the Opposition alliance was unclear and was fragile. “None of the political parties is capable of any significant number of seats. The alliance will not have a stable nucleus. It has a set of highly ambitious, self-centred and maverick leaders.”

On the other, he said, there were no leadership issues within the NDA. “There is absolute clarity. Shri Narendra Modi leads the NDA and will be the Prime Minister in the event of the NDA victory. His leadership is nationally accepted, his ratings are very high. His track record speaks for itself,” he said.

He added that the forthcoming election, thus, was a contest between a trusted leader like Modi and a coalition with no projected leader. “There are multiple leaders (in the Opposition), each trying to outwit the other. They can only promise a temporary Government if we go by the past precedents. One can be certain of chaos.

“The choice is clear – it is either Modi or chaos,” he added.