‘After April 26…’: PM Modi takes digs at Rahul Gandhi, 'Rajya Sabha member' Sonia Gandhi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘After April 26…’: PM Modi takes digs at Rahul Gandhi, 'Rajya Sabha member' Sonia Gandhi

Apr 21, 2024 07:36 AM IST

In an interview with Asianet News Network, PM Narendra Modi said Rahul Gandhi took shelter in Wayanad after losing Amethi.

Lok Sabha election 2024 news: Taking potshots at the Congress for not announcing its candidate for the Amethi seat in the 2024 Lok Sabha election yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has predicted that its senior leader Rahul Gandhi could be fielded from another seat after April 26, indicating that the grand-old party is not confident of retaining the key constituency in Kerala. Voting in Wayanad, currently held by Rahul Gandhi, will be held on April 26.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting.(PTI)

Rahul Gandhi lost the Amethi seat, considered a stronghold of the Congress family, to Union minister Smriti Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

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In an interview with Asianet News Network, aired on Saturday, PM Narendra Modi, without taking his Rahul Gandhi's name, said, “The prince of Congress fled the north and took shelter in the south. He left for Wayanad. This time, his condition is that he is waiting to announce some other seat for himself. As soon as the polling for Wayanad is done on April 26, another seat will be announced for him. He is looking for another seat. Mark my words...”

Rahul Gandhi was a two-time member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.

Taking a veiled swipe at former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Modi said, “I had once announced in Parliament that big leaders (of Congress) were no longer going to contest the Lok Sabha elections and they would go to the Rajya Sabha. And a month after I said this, their biggest leader had to leave the Lok Sabha... So this defeat has already been accepted. So, I am completely confident this time.” Sonia Gandhi, who represented Rae Bareli seat in Lok Sanha is now a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan.

The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for Amethi and there has been no confirmation if Rahul Gandhi would again contest from the seat. Answering questions from reporters recently, Rahul Gandhi said he would abide by the decision of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

PM Modi's dig at 'Congress’s shehzade'

Earlier, addressing a rally in Nanded in Maharashtra for the candidates of Nanded and Hingoli Lok Sabha seats, Modi made a similar prediction saying “Congress’s shehzade” will lose the Wayanad parliamentary seat just as he lost from Amethi in 2019.

“The Congress’s shehzada sees a problem in Wayanad. He is waiting for the voting on April 26, after which he and his gang will look for a safe seat because after Amethi, he will have to leave Wayanad as well,” Modi said.

Meanwhile, if rumours are to be believed, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra could contest from Rae Bareli. The Congress has said the decision on two seats will be taken at “appropriate time”.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties of the NDA have been mocking Rahul Gandhi over the indecision pertaining to Amethi. While Wayanad will go to polls on April 26, Amethi will have voting on May 20.

The Congress has joined hands with the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh and is contesting 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

PM Modi on BJP's performance in south India

During the interview, Modi expressed confidence that the BJP's vote share in the south would increase in the 2024 Lok Sabha election compared to previous polls.

"A narrative has been created in our country for a long time that the BJP means upper caste party. But the reality is that in the BJP, most are scheduled castes (SCs), most are scheduled tribes (STs), and most are other backward classes (OBCs). All these are, and most are OBCs in our ministry. Then they said it was a Bharat Urban Party. Today, the entire character of my party is such that it has the maximum number of rural people," Modi said.

“Then they said this character was created because the BJP is a Puraan-Panthi (or old-school) party and can't think of anything new. But today, if anyone is leading the digital movement in the world, it is the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. So this misconception that they are spreading is 'wrong,” the prime minister said.

On the BJP's electoral performance in south India, Modi said, "You see Telangana, where our vote share has doubled. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the South. The BJP has the highest number of MPs. I believe that in 2024 (the Lok Sabha elections), the vote share is going to increase compared to the previous elections. Seats will also increase."

PM Modi on Kerala

When asked about Kerala, Modi said from the time of the BJP and Jana Sangh, “we want to serve in every part of the country. Work where there is political benefit, and don't where it isn't profitable--these are not our principles”.

"Jana Sangh's biggest national convention was held in Kerala in 1967. For us, Kerala is not only a field to come into power. Kerala is also similar to other areas we serve, and we serve there with equal dedication. Hundreds of our workers were gunned down, and political murders were committed. Even today, we work there to serve Maa Bharti, and left cadres were convicted by courts for the murder of our people; many of them are in jail. Despite that, be it Kutch, Guwahati, Kashmir or Kanyakumari, every corner of the country is ours," he said.

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