“Looking at the scenario, I think there is an anti-BJP wave going on. Considering the Karnataka election results, people are in the mood for a change. If this mentality of people continues, there will a change in the country in the forthcoming elections. There is no need of any astrologer to tell this,” the NCP chief said.
His remarks come days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed during his US tour that the BJP will be “decimated” in the next three-four assembly elections. Elections are scheduled in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram later this year.
Rahul also claimed that a majority of people of the country don’t vote for the BJP.
“There is a tendency of people to believe that this sort of juggernaut of the RSS and the BJP is unstoppable. This is not the case. I’ll make a little prediction here. You will see that the next three or four elections that we fight directly with the BJP will be decimated,” Rahul had said in one of his interactions in the US.
“I can give it to you right now, that they’re gonna have a really tough time in these assembly elections. We’ll do to them the very similar stuff that we’ve done in Karnataka. But if you ask the Indian media that’s not going to happen,” he had said.
“Please realise that 60 per cent of India does not vote for the BJP, does not vote for Narendra Modi. That’s something you have to remember. The BJP has the instruments of noise in their hand, so they can shout, they can scream, they can distort, they can yell, and they are much better at doing that. But they do not have the vast majority of the Indian population (supporting them),” he said at another event.
The Congress had decimated the BJP in Karnataka to register a comprehensive win in the May 10 assembly elections. The grand old party had won 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka assembly, while the BJP could win only 66 seats and was ousted from power in the state.
Karnataka was the second state in which the Congress defeated the BJP in recent months. In Himachal Pradesh also, the grand old party had managed to defeat the saffron party and form its government.
The opposition has been trying to unite to form an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. One such major initiative is being spearheaded by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has met several opposition leaders over the last few months.
Efforts are on for adjustments at state-level instead of one all-India platform of all the parties. The Congress competes with several regional parties in the states and hence faces opposition from its state units against any unity moves with them.
A meeting of several opposition parties scheduled for June 12 in Patna had to be deferred after Nitish Kumar insisted on the presence of party heads at the meeting. This meeting is likely to be held now on June 23.
Several other leaders have also been making efforts to unite different parties against the BJP. However, it will be a herculean exercise to bring all the regional leaders like West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on one platform along with the Congress.
Meanwhile, the BJP may not be bothered much about the fallout the Karnataka election results. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had lost quite a few state elections. However, when it came to the Lok Sabha elections, the party was back with a bang winning most of the seats in the states it had lost in assembly elections.
While the Karnataka may be a great booster for the opposition, it may not be enough to predict 2024 just yet.
(With inputs from agencies)