Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday derided the opposition's proposed 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as a unity of the as anaemic, adding Narendra Modi will become the prime minister again. Speaking at Republic Summit here, Gadkari recalled that then prime minister Indira Gandhi had prevailed in 1971 despite facing a combined opposition.
"Mahagathbandhan is the name of the alliance of those who are anaemic, weak and defeated. These are the people who never even said 'namaskar' to each other (greeted each other), smiled at each other or ever shared tea with each other," Gadkari said.
"The credit goes to Modi and BJP that these parties are friends now," the BJP leader said. Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati were arch rivals, Gadkari said, to support his argument that such an alliance is absurd. The BJP's strength and the government's performance compelled the opposition parties, including the Congress, to come together, Gadkari said.
"When I was in college, there was a big alliance against Indira Gandhi. Socialist Party, Congress (O) and the Jana Sangh. The arithmetic suggested the alliance will win. But Indira Gandhi won (the 1971 election). Two plus two is never four in politics," the senior minister said. He also stressed that the difference between the vote shares of the BJP and the Congress in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh elections was very slim though the latter won.
"Don't go by these results, we will win the Lok Sabha polls again. We will get a reasonable majority and Modi will be the prime minister again," he said. On the Shiv Sena which frequently takes potshots at the BJP despite being alliance partner, Gadkari said the relations between the two parties were the same as they were when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.
"There is a saying in Marathi, 'tujhe maajhe jamena, tujhya vachun karamena' (we neither get along, nor bear to be separate). In the interest of Maharashtra, Marathi people and the country, the alliance will benefit us both," he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)