Congress will struggle to cross 50 seats: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that Congress’ tally in the Lok Sabha polls will be an “all-time low”, as the grand old party would struggle to cross even the “half-century” mark in the hustings.

Modi also mocked Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli seat, and said the Congress leader did so after “sensing defeat” in Kerala’s Wayanad, where he is a sitting MP.

Addressing back-to-back rallies in the Bardhaman-Durgapur, Krishnanagar and Bolpur Lok Sabha constituencies, the PM said if Congress is voted to power, it would “snatch” quotas meant for the Scheduled Caste, Dalits and OBCs and give those to its “jihadi vote bank” to pursue the party’s “appeasement politics”.

Modi slammed the opposition bloc INDIA and the Congress for “supporting” the “vote jihad” comments made by a candidate of the Samajwadi Party (SP), an ally of the grand old party in Uttar Pradesh.

“There is no need for opinion polls or exit polls, as I had talked about their (Congress) defeat long back in Parliament. When their senior leader quit her Lok Sabha seat and entered Parliament through Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, it was evident they sensed defeat,” he said, in an apparent dig at Sonia Gandhi.

“Now, the ‘shehzada’ of Congress, who went to Wayanad after losing the Amethi seat, is also contesting from Rae Bareli. He knows he will lose Wayanad this time,” Modi said.

He said Rahul Gandhi should not be afraid and “keep running away”.

“I had said earlier that the ‘prince’, after the polling in Wayanad, would look for another seat, due to fear of defeat in that constituency. Now, he had to run away from Amethi and choose Rae Bareli. They go around and ask people not to feel afraid. I would tell them the same thing – don’t be afraid and don’t run away,” the prime minister said.