No more elections in India if Narendra Modi wins 2024 Lok Sabha polls: Kharge

Congress president urges people to keep away from the BJP and its ideologue RSS, alleging that they are 'like poison'

Mallikarjun Kharge addresses the gathering in Bhubaneswar (photo: @kharge/X)
Mallikarjun Kharge addresses the gathering in Bhubaneswar (photo: @kharge/X)
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PTI

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday expressed apprehension that the 2024 Lok Sabha elections would be the last opportunity for the people to save democracy, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi might prefer dictatorship in case his party wins the upcoming polls.

He also urged people to keep away from the BJP and its ideologue RSS, alleging that they are "like poison".

"This will be the last opportunity for the people to save democracy in India. If Narendra Modi wins another election, there will be dictatorship in the country. The BJP will rule India like Putin in Russia," Kharge said while addressing a party rally.

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP and RSS, Kharge said the present government under Modi is being run by threatening states and leaders of the opposition. "Notices are being served to the leaders and ED & Income Tax has become weapons to grind the political opponents," he claimed adding that the people should be aware of the BJP and RSS ideologies.

He alleged that leaders are threatened to leave their parties and alliances if they oppose the ideologies of BJP and RSS, and claimed that senior party leader Rahul Gandhi was frequently threatened as he opposed both the BJP and the RSS.

"However, Rahul Gandhi did not come under their pressure and continues to fight against the forces that are out to divide the nation," the Congress president said.

On Janata Dal (U) head and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's return to the BJP-led NDA leaving the Congress camp on Sunday, Kharge claimed it would have no impact on the polls. "One person quitting Mahagathbandhan will not weaken us. We will defeat the BJP," he said.

The Congress president also described Modi as a "habitual liar" who he accused of misleading the people by assuring 2 crore jobs every year and Rs 15 lakh in every Indian's bank account.

Referring to Modi's jibe at the Congress' achievements during the last 70 years, Kharge said: "You (Modi) could become the CM of Gujarat and PM because Congress held aloft democracy and the Constitution. But you are now destroying the basics of democracy and the Constitution."

He said the the Congress has given rights to women, Dalits, tribals and the downtrodden by properly implementing the Constitution.

Claiming that Odisha's ruling BJD and opposition BJP have solemnised a "love marriage", Kharge alleged that the two parties are looting Odisha and oppressing the poor in the state, saying while the BJP and BJD are only with rich people, the Congress always stands by the poor.

Kharge said people in Odisha lost hard-earned money in the chit-fund scam and the mining loot is a regular phenomenon in the state. As both the parties are hand in glove with each other, the culprits are not caught, he claimed.

Asking the people what the Modi-Naveen Patnaik combine has given to Odisha, Kharge claimed that Congress gave Paradip Port, Rourkela Steel Plant, Chilka Naval Academy, Mancheshwar Rail Coach Factory, HAL, Ordnance Factory, AIIMS and several educational institutions to the state. "But today Patnaik ji, along with BJP, is allowing the natural wealth here to be looted," he alleged.


The Congress president said Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru held the last Congress session of his life in the "land of Lord Jagannath" in 1964. "Pandit Nehru ji and Biju Patnaik ji were very good friends. He (Biju) believed in the ideology of Nehruji. But today's Patnaik (Naveen) believes in the ideology of BJP," Kharge said.

Biju Patnaik was Naveen Patnaik's father and a former chief minister of Odisha.

Without naming anyone, Kharge also targeted Patnaik's close aide and former IAS officer V.K. Pandian, who recently quit the civil services and to join the BJD. "Are there no leaders and officers from Odisha to advise the chief minister that someone has to be brought from another state to run the government?" he asked, in a reference to Pandian, who is from Tamil Nadu.

"There are 2.36 lakh vacancies in the state government. Odisha has 29 per cent ST and 16 per cent SC populations. Still, these people did not get any major jobs in the Patnaik government," Kharge said, urging people to unite and fight for their rights.

While 30 lakh posts are vacant in government institutions across the country, Modi is not filling them as SC-CT, OBC people would also get jobs, Kharge alleged.

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