Ra­j­nath dares Oppn to name its PM can­di­date

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Nation election20­19 - let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

Se­nior BJP leader and Union min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh Tues­day dared the Op­po­si­tion to name its prime min­is­te­rial can­di­date if it was sure of vic­tory in the Lok Sabha polls, even as he claimed that a two-thirds ma­jor­ity for the rul­ing NDA can­not be ruled out.

With only the last phase of the polls to go for 59 seats, he asked the Op­po­si­tion to not play “hide and seek” with peo­ple by not an­nounc­ing who is its leader.

At a press con­fer­ence at the BJP head­quar­ters, Singh took a swipe at op­po­si­tion lead­ers, say­ing they are un­able to elect a leader as they know that they will not get a ma­jor­ity.

Twenty-one Op­po­si­tion par­ties, in­clud­ing the Sa­ma­jwadi Party, Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal al­liance in Ut­tar Pradesh and the Tri­namool Congress in West Ben­gal, are ex­pected to meet in New Delhi be­tween the last day of polling on May 19 and when the re­sults are an­nounced on May 23 to work out the modal­i­ties of an al­ter­na­tive front. The BJP in 2014 had won a ma­jor­ity with 282 of 543 Lok Sabha seats.

Modi’s lead­er­ship com­pared to lack of any lead face in the ri­val camp has been one of the key themes of the BJP-led NDA cam­paign, with its lead­ers telling vot­ers that there will be chaos and in­sta­bil­ity if the Op­po­si­tion comes to power.

Asked about the Sa­ma­jwadi Party-Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party al­liance in Ut­tar Pradesh, he said his party had be­lieved that it will be an “ef­fec­tive” com­bine, but it has fiz­zled out and that the BJP has set a tar­get of win­ning 74 of the state’s 80 seats.

Singh, who was the BJP chief dur­ing the 2014 elec­tions, said peo­ple are keen to give Modi an­other term as they have a sense of sat­is­fac­tion with his ten­ure.

To a ques­tion about a re­cent Time mag­a­zine cover story, which called Modi “di­vider in chief”, he said the prime min­is­ter wants to take every­body along.

Ut­tar Pradesh, Bi­har, Mad­hya Pradesh, West Ben­gal and Pun­jab are among the seven states that will poll in the fi­nal phase. The sev­enth and last phase of the gen­eral elec­tion is due on May 19. The counting of votes will oc­cur on May 23.

Ra­j­nath Singh

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