Congress will win heartland states in 2019, too: Chidambaram

Bengaluru: Buoyed by the Assembly election victories in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Friday said the national party is confident of winning in the same heartland states in the ensuing general elections in April-May 2019.

“The Congress is confident of winning the heartland states in the general elections as well, along with allies,” Chidambaram told IANS at a news conference in the party’s state unit office here.

Claiming that demonetisation and a “flawed” Goods and Services Tax (GST) had damaged India’s economy, the former Union Finance Minister said every citizen knew that the twin measures had impacted the country, destroyed jobs and small and medium enterprises.

“No one can erase from the people’s minds that demonetisation and a flawed GST have damaged India’s economy. The BJP will not be able to erase that perception,” reiterated Chidambaram when asked if the twin “blows” would impact the electoral prospects of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the national level.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8, 2016 banned high-value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations in a bid to curb counterfeit cash.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government implemented the GST from July 1, 2017 across the country in place of indirect taxes such as sales tax and VAT.

On the claim of the NDA government that additional jobs were created on the evidence of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data on people in payrolls, Chidambaram said such data meant that one more job was formalised and not an additional job.