Congress Unlikely To Get Majority; Post-Poll Alliance Crucial, Says Kamal Nath
Predicting a hung Parliament, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the Congress will do “very, very well” but is unlikely to get a majority and there will have to be a post-poll alliance to form a new government in Delhi.
The Congress veteran said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will not be able to occupy the power seat as it will not get the numbers and no other major political party will form an alliance with it either.
“Of course, we are going to do very, very well but I do not see us reaching a majority and there will have to be a post-poll alliance and this alliance will throw up different types of combinations,” Nath told PTI at his residence on Saturday.
He was asked to project the average number of seats his party could win in the polls to the 17th Lok Sabha and whether the grand old party will enter into an alliance at the centre to form a government.
“If there is an alliance, the alliance will take decisions. There are two types — one is anti-BJP, and one is pro-BJP. The pro-BJP numbers are very small and for anti-BJP you see the entire political spectrum is against it.” he said.
“So, whatever numbers are thrown up (is to be seen). The BJP is trying to think that they will ever be able to form a government (but that) is too far fetched. Because they will neither have numbers, nor will other political parties go with them,” the Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.
Asked if Congress President Rahul Gandhi would occupy the PM’s chair once their party forms the government, Nath confidently said, “Of course, if we have the numbers, Rahul Gandhi is the obvious PM.”
Discussing the party’s minimum income guarantee scheme ‘NYAY’, the nine-time MP from Chhindwara said giving Rs 72,000 per year to poor people is “a revolutionary scheme which will lift five crore families out of poverty”.
“We will do it simply because there are resources available. The question is apportioning resources,” the 72-year-old leader said.
Income Tax Raids
The recent Income Tax Department raids at premises linked to his associates were politically motivated, he said.
Those raided included Nath’s former Officer on Special Duty Pravin Kakkad, former adviser Rajendra Miglani and executives linked to his brother-in-law’s firm Moser Bayer, and his nephew Ratul Puri’s company, officials said.
Properties linked to Ashwin Sharma, allegedly associated to Kakkad, were also covered in the operation. The raids were launched on April 7 at 52 locations in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
“What the PM said first about the searches...where has the money been found? I don't know the person (Ashwani Sharma), he never met me and he himself told the media that I am from the BJP. In his statement he said he is from the BJP so why am I being associated with all this? I do not know,” Nath said.
The Congress stalwart charged the central government with using agencies for political purposes. “Was anything found in Mr Kakkar's place… nothing was found at his place, nothing. They (I-T) have not made a claim also. Where they have found anything they have already recorded it,” he said.
Nath dismissed as “fake” the tax department's allegation that a "widespread and well organised racket involving unaccounted cash of Rs 281 crore" was detected during the raids. "All these fake statements of theirs...they themselves make statements. They themselves give it to the press. So, if they are playing politics, well...there is no end to politics," he said.
On PM Modi
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nath said it is a "travesty of truth" when he describes the country as safe under his leadership.
“Maximum terror attacks...those like that on Parliament and the Kargil war took place when the BJP was in power. How much can you fool the people?" the former Union cabinet minister asked. Nath alleged that the prime minister cheated people of the country by making empty promises.
"Mr. Modi must answer, first give response to all the promises he made in 2014. What has happened to 'acche din', what has happened about Rs 15 lakh (in every persons bank account), what has happened to what he promised the framers?," Nath asked.
“The voter of Madhya Pradesh is simple, is poor, is willing to accept anything. Sometimes even willing to be disappointed but he is not willing to be thugged,” he said.
According to the chief minister, the voters were feeling cheated that Modi was saying nothing of what he said in 2014 —like two crore jobs to the youth as well as slogans like Skill India, Make in India, Digital India, Stand Up India.
“They are asking what happened to all that. Where all has it reached,” Nath said.
In his view, the Congress will "get in excess of 22 of Madhya Pradesh's 29 Lok Sabha seats. Last time, the party managed only three seats.
Nath, who has spent most of his political career in Delhi, said he is committed to his responsibility in Madhya Pradesh to ensure its "historic development".
“I am committed to be in Madhya Pradesh for five years and I am not looking at the centre at all,” he said.