INDIA bloc to take call Wednesday on approaching former partners: Rahul Gandhi

INDIA bloc to take call Wednesday on approaching former partners: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi | The INDIA bloc will meet and decide on Wednesday whether to approach former partners such as the JD(U) and the TDP to attempt government formation at the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.

"We are going to have a meeting with our partners tomorrow. These questions will be raised and answered there," Gandhi told a press conference here when asked if the Congress and its allies will approach parties that are part of the NDA to try and form a government.

He was addressing the press conference with senior Congress leaders as the Lok Sabha poll results and trends showed the BJP was set to become the single-largest party but would fall short of the magic figure of 272.

"We won't say anything without asking the opinion of our allies. Our alliance will decide tomorrow and whatever they decide we will act on that," Gandhi said.

The Congress leader said the general election was a fight to save the Constitution.

"It was on my mind that the people of this country would rally together to save the Constitution. The first and biggest step towards saving the Constitution has been taken," he said, adding that it was the poor and the marginalised who stood up.

"India's poorest and backward stood up to save the Constitution," he said.

He added that the Congress, and the INDIA bloc have given India a new vision, a pro-poor vision.

"The main thing this election has said, the country has said, is that we don't want Narendra Modi, Amit Shah to be running this country," he said.

He said all Congress leaders respected INDIA bloc allies and wherever the alliance fought "we fought as one".

Gandhi offered special thanks to the electorate of Uttar Pradesh for supporting the Congress and "protecting" the Constitution.

When asked if he would keep the Wayanad or Rae Bareli seat, Gandhi said he has not taken a decision yet.

On Congress candidate K L Sharma wresting the Amethi seat from the BJP's Smriti Irani, Gandhi said the party loyalist had been working in the constituency for the past 40 years and his victory was certain.

Poll results mandate against PM Modi: Kharge

New Delhi | Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday termed the Lok Sabha elections outcome a mandate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a political and moral defeat of the BJP.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the results are a victory of the people and of democracy.

The BJP-led NDA was ahead in over 290 seats, while the opposition INDIA bloc was leading in 232 parliamentary seats.

"This is public's result and public's and democracy's victory. We had been saying that this battle is between public and Modi. We humbly accept the people's mandate," Kharge told reporters at the AICC headquarters flanked by Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

Kharge said the voters did not give a complete majority to any single party, particularly the BJP that sought votes on the basis of 'one person, one face'.

"This is their (BJP's) political and moral defeat," he said.

He said the government machinery created obstacles in the path of the opposition alliance.

Kharge said people saw through 'lies' spread by Prime Minister Modi on Congress's manifesto.

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