Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday predicted a historic victory for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the Maharashtra Assembly polls slated for October 21. He said the ruling alliance would break the Congress' record of winning 221 seats in the 288-member House.
Addressing a press conference, he said, "Congress had won 221 seats in the state elections once but BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will break that record and complete a historic win." He said people had reposed faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and development works completed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Union minister for information and broadcasting said opposition parties were facing "leadership bankruptcy", adding that the BJP wins wherever Congress leader Rahul Gandhi campaigns.
On being asked about the BJP importing leaders from such "leadership bankrupt parties", Javadekar said when parties lose their paths, their good leaders join other parties. Javadekar said the BJP appointed JP Nadda as party working president after incumbent Amit Shah became Union home minister, but the Congress had no idea who its president or working president were.
Taking a swipe at Gandhi's reported foreign trip ahead of Assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana, Javadekar asked where the former had "disappeared". He said the opposition party, once at the forefront of the freedom struggle, was now taking help of the "tukde tukde" gang of JNU to further its prospects.
"The party is opposing NRC which was the brainchild of Rajiv Gandhi," he said, adding that the Congress was spreading rumours about bullets being fired in Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of provisions of Article 370. "It has been 75 days (since revocation) but not a single bullet has been fired. The situation is such that section 144 (of CrPC) is in effect in only eight police station areas. The mobile network is also being restored," he claimed.
He hit out at Left parties for terming the BJP's mandate as "brute majority" and claimed a large number of seats it won in the April-May Lok Sabha polls was because people had complete faith in PM Modi. Queried on the state of the economy, the minister said the whole world was facing an economic slowdown, and dubbed it a "cyclical" phenomenon that comes "every 10-12 years".
"We have seen the slowdown of 1998 when economies of Asian countries were hit. In 2008, there was a recession. Now the slowdown is worldwide," he said, adding that efforts were on to steer the country out of it. Speaking on the felling of trees in the Aarey area for constructing a metro car shed, Javadekar said five trees were being planted for every one cut.
"In last five years, 15000 square kilometers of tree cover has increased (in the country). In Delhi there are around 274 metro stations and when these stations were built, tree was cut but five times more trees were planted," he claimed. With some outfits opposing telecast of a reality show Bigg Boss over a new concept called "Bed Friends Forever", in which contestants have to share beds with fellow inmates, Javadekar said a report on the program will be prepared by his ministry officials within a week.
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