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INDIA bloc getting ‘clear’ mandate in LS polls, will name PM in less than 3 days: Jairam Ramesh

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CHANDIGARH, May 24: The Congress on Friday hit back at the BJP over its “five PMs in five years” remark against the INDIA bloc, saying the alliance which is set to get a “clear and decisive” mandate in the Lok Sabha polls will have one person as prime minister for five years.

The name of the prime minister will be announced by the INDIA bloc within three days after the result of the elections is declared on June 4, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh told a press conference here ahead of the sixth round of polling on Saturday. The elections are being held in seven phases and the last is on June 1.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in his poll rallies repeatedly targeted the bloc, claiming that it has plans to have five prime ministers in five years if voted to power.

The INDIA bloc is going to get a “clear and decisive mandate” on June 4 and, like in 2004, history will repeat itself after 20 years, Ramesh said. The BJP was unseated from power in the 2004 general polls despite its ‘India Shining’ campaign and the Congress-led UPA came to power.

“Those who repeatedly raise the question who will be PM (if the INDIA bloc comes to power), I want to remind that in 2004, after the Congress and its allies got the mandate, within three days Dr Manmohan Singh’s name was announced for (the post of) PM,” the Congress leader said.

“This time it will not even be three days,” Ramesh asserted and added that “one person will be prime minister for five years to run the government”.

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He said that the prime ministerial candidate will be selected in a democratic way by members of the INDIA bloc.

“Elections in our country are not a beauty contest. In our country, an election is between parties, our democracy is party-centric and not person-centric,” Ramesh said.

“This is why the question that is repeatedly raised who will be prime minister is a wrong question. The right question is which party and which alliance will get the mandate,” the Congress leader said at the conference in the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.

While all 10 seats in Haryana are going to polls on Saturday, Punjab’s 13 seats and the lone seat in the Union Territory of Chandigarh will see polling on June 1.

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“Going by the indications, it became clear after the first two phases (April 19 and 26) that the INDIA bloc is going to get a clear and decisive mandate,” Ramesh said.

Polling for five phases covering 428 seats has been completed and after the first two phases of the elections, which were in April, it became clear that in southern India, the BJP has been wiped out, and reduced to half in the rest of the country, he claimed.

The Congress and the INDIA bloc’s performance is very strong this time in comparison to the 2019 polls, he said.

There has been a change in the language the prime minister has been using in his speeches after April 19, Ramesh claimed.

He also claimed that Modi’s entire campaign from April 19 has been based on “communalisation” with the Hindu-Muslim rhetoric throughout. “No talk of Viksit Bharat, Modi ki guarantee or issues of farmers, the youth, women, workers, SCs, STs and OBCs,” he said.

Ramesh said the prime minister has made “bogus statements” like the Congress manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League and the Congress will give reservations on the basis of religion. (PTI)








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