Congress made election about ‘rich vs poor’ while BJP tried to create communal rift: KC Venugopal

'We are winning a good number of seats, which will give us a clear-cut mandate on forming a government,' Venugopal asserted.


Published May 31, 2024 | 9:53 AMUpdatedMay 31, 2024 | 9:53 AM

KC Venugopal during a poll rally in Alappuzha. (X)

By Sanjeev Chopra

The mood of the country indicates it wants a change and the INDIA bloc will get a good enough number of seats that will ensure it gets a clear-cut mandate and form a government, senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said on Thursday, 30 May.

In a wide-ranging interview with the PTI, the Congress general secretary, Organisation, said that the Congress treated this Lok Sabha election as “poor versus rich” and raised people’s issues, while noting that the BJP’s tally in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra “will come down drastically.”

He also asserted that there was no wave for the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi this time on the ground.

The Congress leader said that once the numbers come in their favour, the INDIA parties would decide on their prime ministerial candidate “without any delay” with consultations, and asserted that no unilateral decision will be taken in this regard by the Congress.

Venugopal also hit out at the Election Commission (EC), alleging that a “lack of transparency” has been witnessed throughout the election on the part of the poll watchdog, with no level-playing field maintained.

Also Read: INDIA bloc’s 1 June ‘informal meet’ to discuss preparations for counting day: Kharge

‘EC has to be neutral’

He said the EC has to be a neutral player, as a referee, for it to be able to conduct free and fair poll. “But we are not experiencing that through the poll body’s actions.”

Venugopal alleged that the ruling BJP created a narrative for polarisation and creating divisions in society.

“The BJP’s attitude was totally dictatorial in this election. The Congress party took a strong decision to focus on people’s issues and that this election should be fought on people’s issues. In this election, we treated this election as ‘poor versus rich’,” he told PTI.

“Wherever we are going, we are getting the pulse that the change of mood is there in favour of INDIA alliance. We did not see any wave in favour of the BJP or Narendra Modi,” he said.

“Therefore, their (BJP’s) seats will drastically go down in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. We are expecting good results from Assam also. These are states where the BJP got maximum seats, but there is going to be a decrease in seats for the BJP.

“Our ground reports are very comfortable. We are winning a good number of seats, which will give us a clear-cut mandate on forming a government,” Venugopal asserted.

‘Rich versus poor’

He said the Congress stuck with its narrative of “rich versus poor” despite attempts by the BJP leaders to throw it off its stride.

“This type of polarising campaign by BJP got a negative impact,” he said.

Venugopal claimed that in all those states where the BJP had scored maximum in the 2019 election, including Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, its number will go down this time.

“Maharashtra is totally in a changing mood. In Karnataka, they got maximum, but it is also in a changing mood. Haryana, Rajasthan where we were zero, but the people are in a changing mood now. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also, there is a change on the ground,” he said.

Venugopal alleged that the BJP created a situation where it thought it was going to win hands down without any opposition.

Also Read: Congress placed new vision for country before people, says Rahul Gandhi

‘Totally dependent on Ram Mandir’

“That is why they decided their entire campaign in a manner which a political party has never done in a national election in India. They were totally dependent on Ram Mandir.

“Their only agenda throughout this elections is to create communal division among the people, by speaking about dharma and religion. This level has come from the Prime Minister himself, to build that narrative that this election is for polarisation. They did not create a level playing field for the opposition also,” he said, as he raised the matter of jailing of several opposition leaders and freezing of their accounts.

“Their attitude is totally dictatorial in this election,” he alleged.

Venugopal rubbished the claim made by Modi, that the Congress would give reservation to Muslims.

In every speech, the Congress president and Rahul Gandhi said that the reservation is for SC, ST, OBC and poor people, he said.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)