Can INDIA bloc defeat BJP? Sachin Pilot reveals plan in exclusive interview | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Can INDIA bloc defeat BJP? Sachin Pilot reveals plan in exclusive interview

Feb 14, 2024 07:37 PM IST

The INDIA alliance will pose a challenge to the BJP, said Sachin Pilot.

New Delhi: The INDIA bloc's combined vote share is over 60 percent and it can defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Congress leader Sachin Pilot told Hindustan Times' Kumkum Chadha. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sachin Pilot.(PTI file photo)
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sachin Pilot.(PTI file photo)

On 2024 general elections

This is an election that's coming at the back of ten years of the BJP government. I won't say NDA because this is a full majority government and ten years of the same government. Same prime minister, same promises. So it's time to read the report card in terms of what they've done, what they promised...For the people of India, what matters most is governance. Have the lives of people become better or at least the promises have been fulfilled?

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Can INDIA alliance defeat BJP?

This election is important for the unity of the Opposition. We have an India alliance, more than two dozen parties together, and the vote share of all the parties put together is more than 60%. So if it's NDA versus India alliance 1 to 1, you know, we run for a good match. And I think the alliance itself and the political leaders coming together will pose a formidable challenge to the government.

Seat-sharing issues in INDIA bloc

The INDIA alliance is strong. And of course, in every state, every regional party will have its own political space that nobody wants to give up. But there has to be a give and take...The negotiations for seat sharing are going on as we speak, and very soon we'll have a formidable alliance with seat sharing done adequately and a joint campaign that will start very, very soon. Must understand that every regional player party has its own importance and significance. But nationally, at a pan-India level, it is the Congress that can actually challenge and defeat the BJP at all levels.

Is the INDIA alliance falling apart?

I think it's too early to write it off. And it's not appropriate to compare this to an experiment that's completely different. But the INDIA alliance, I think all the meetings you've had, all the leaders, you may have some issues sharing seats, but the commonality of objective is very clear that we have to fight together.

'Real issues afflicting India'

We are looking at a better economic outlook for the country. We're looking at protecting. And I keep saying for 70 years we have nurtured these institutions, judiciary, our bureaucracy, our institutions that are important for our republic. And I think there's a constant effort to undermine and hollow out these institutions. If they lose credibility in the eyes of people, then everything is at stake. So this is much larger, you know, the country's future is at stake than just a mere election or one party winning or losing.

Why is the BJP winning despite issues?

So I take your point. But winning an election does not give you a mandate or a blank check to do as you please. You can't change the way the chief election commissioner is nominated. You know, you can't change the fundamentals of how our judiciary and bureaucracy have functioned.

These changes are watched carefully by the public. Indian people are smart. In 2004, the BJP had the India shining campaign. It also looked so good. But in the end, the BJP lost that election.

It is not appropriate to write anybody off in politics. So we must fight the elections. And you're right, it must be done in a way that the message is communicated clearly and the commitment is seen. That's what we are fighting to do.

Watch the full interview here:

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