United opposition will defeat BJP, Modi in 2019: Rahul

Bengaluru: An upbeat Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday asserted that a united opposition would defeat the BJP, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, in the 2019 general elections.

“A united opposition will ensure the defeat of the BJP and prevent Modi from winning again from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in the 2019 parliamentary elections,” he said at a media interaction here.

Hinting at the coming together of the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for 2019, Gandhi said the opposition parties would keep aside their regional aspirations and personal ambitions to jointly bring down the BJP and Modi next year.

“Forget the BJP and Modi winning in the next elections. I foresee the ruling NDA coalition collapsing as never before,” he predicted.

Gandhi was on a two-day visit to the southern state since Saturday for the sixth time in two months to campaign for the party.

“I don’t see the BJP winning the next election in the face of a united opposition and rising public anger against its government and leadership,” he said.

In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi said the Congress would not only win in Karnataka, but also in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were assembly elections are due later this year.

“How and from where the BJP will win seats when other opposition and reginal parties close ranks and contest jointly against it in the 2019 polls,” he said.

Gandhi also ruled out a third front against the Congress and the BJP in the next year’s general elections.

Later, Gandhi participated at the ruling party’s ‘Jan Ashirvada Yatra’, held for the people’s blessings in the May 12 Karnataka assembly election.

Noting that the assembly poll would be a battle of ideologies between the Congress and the BJP, Gandhi said Bengaluru’s founder Kempegowda and Karnataka’s 12th century social reformer Basavanna taught on how to take everyone together for the good of all and on the development path.

“Bengaluru is the symbol of modern India. Besides (state-run enterprises like) HAL, ISRO, BEL, BEML and ITI, it has best academic and research institutions like IISc and IIM, which attracted global IT firms and multinationals,” said Gandhi, who earlier in the day, interacted with workers of the city civic corporation, women entrepreneurs and top executives of India Inc here.