"Yours are declining, ours increasing... '400 paar' is 'bakwas'," says Kharge

During the Manmohan Singh government, farm debt of Rs 72,000 crore was set aside, he said, in contrast to the BJP's anti-farmer policies

Mallikarjun Kharge holds up the Congress 'guarantee card' (photo: PTI)
Mallikarjun Kharge holds up the Congress 'guarantee card' (photo: PTI)


Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge dismissed the BJP's '400 paar' claim as "bakwas", or nonsense, and said the saffron party will not cross 200 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

Addressing the media in Amritsar, Kharge said the BJP's seats were declining compared to the last elections, while the Congress and the INDIA bloc were making gains.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has been claiming that it will get over 400 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

Replying to a question on it, Kharge asked the basis of such claims by the BJP.

"When your (seats) are declining and ours are increasing... Forget '400 paar', it is bakwas. They cannot even form the government and will not go beyond 200 seats," Kharge said.

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was "non-existent" in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana and "not strong" in Karnataka.

"You are weak in Maharashtra, while in West Bengal and Odisha, there is a fight. How are you getting 400 seats?" he asked.

Replying to union home minister Amit Shah's jibe that Kharge "will lose his job" after Congress' defeat in the elections, he said: "I joined politics not for doing a job. I have been in politics to serve (people) since childhood, almost for as many years now as (PM Narendra) Modi's age."

Shah should think about his own job after 4 June, Kharge added.

Kharge said the drug problem in Punjab is the biggest challenge for the state's future, and added that youths in the state are frustrated.

"Because of this, the law and order situation is deteriorating day by day. After selling land, farmers are sending their children abroad, so that they do not fall prey to drugs. Each one is forced to migrate as employment opportunities are not available," the Congress president said.

Notably, there is an AAP government in Punjab. The Congress and the AAP, which are both parties to the INDIA bloc, are fighting the Lok Sabha polls separately in Punjab.

Attacking the prime minister and the BJP over their claims, Kharge said, "Modi-ji talks too much and works less."

"BJP ka sau bakna, Manmohan Singh ka ek karna barabar hai (The BJP's 100 claims equal former prime minister Manmohan Singh's one action)," Kharge said. Singh used to work without boasting about it, whereas even for small things the BJP makes a big noise, he said.

During the Manmohan Singh government, farm debt of Rs 72,000 crore was set aside, he said.

Kharge said the Centre transferred 26 officers on Monday, 27 May, while the Model Code of Conduct was in place, and pointed to the secretary-level reshuffle by the Centre in which five new appointments were made.

On the other hand, the Congress government in Karnataka has not even announced promotions for some of its engineers, he said.

Attacking the BJP government further, Kharge accused it of misusing the central agencies.

"Modi and Shah have such weapons which they use to harass people—be it ED, Income Tax, CVC, CBI—and they have different types of weapons which they are misusing," Kharge said.

The Congress chief also reiterated the party's promises for the Lok Sabha elections of farm debt waiver and the legal guarantee on minimum support price of crops, even as he attacked the BJP-led central government over the unemployment issue and the Agnipath scheme.

There were 30 lakh vacancies in the central government, all of which will be filled up if the INDIA bloc forms the government, he said.

On BJP's charge that the Congress manifesto bears the imprint of the Muslim League, Kharge said, "Modi does not look at our manifesto or read it. I said this earlier if he finds the imprint of the Muslim League in this. We will send one person from the Congress office to help him explain it for him."

He said the party manifesto is for the youth, farmers, labourers and the weaker sections.

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