New Delhi, May 3 : Two days before the crucial round of fifth phase of polling including in Congress President Rahul Gandhi's Amethi constituency, the BJP on Friday claimed that its nominee Smriti Irani's victory is a certainty and overall the Congress tally will be less than what was in 2014.
"Hamey anuman tha (We had presumed ....Congress strength will be around 50 seats this time ...but like the way Anand Sharma and other Congress leaders are speaking may be the strength of the grand old party will come down to less than what was in 2014," BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here.
Commenting on Congress leader Anand Sharma's comments that the Modi government has mishandled country's economic policy, he said, "no one will believe such remarks". "Yeh press conference cartoon network pe toh nahi chal rahi hae (Hope this press conference is not coming live on a cartoon show)," he said mocking at the Congress party.
The Congress could win only 44 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 - the lowest ever by the grand old party. The Congress tally was less than 10 per cent of total Lok Sabha seats and thus it had deprived its leaders Mallikarjun Kharge get the formal recognition as Leader of the Opposition in the the 16th Lok Sabha.
Mr Goyal said before 2014 under the UPA, India's financial position was 'weak' and is clubbed as one of 'fragile five'.
But it is only under the Modi government and able stewardship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that country's economic condition has improved, said Mr Goyal - who also held the charge of Finance portfolio for a brief spell.
"People of India wants a strong government which will continue to lead India as one of the fastest growing economies".
Congress leader Anand Sharma, also a former Union Commerce Minister, has said recently that demonetisation as enforced by the Modi government in 2016 was a 'scam' wherein lakhs of business establishments got finished.
The BJP leader maintained that for years the Congress party has taken the people of Amethi for granted and hence this time around the victory of BJP candidate Ms Irani looked certain.
"For years the Congress has ill treated Amethi and took the people and their votes for granted as a matter of inheritance right. It was an act of betrayal," Mr Goyal said. He said in 2009 the victory margin for Rahul Gandhi was about three lakhs and it came down to around one lakh only in 2014 when Smriti Irani was pitted against the Congress leader. "In 2014, Rahul Gandhi could win because we delayed fielding Smiriti Irani. Had we announced her candidature a fortnight back, we would have won," he said adding nevertheless Union Textiles Minister is heading for a major and a convincing win in Amethi this time.
Referring to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's remarks on 'vote cutting' factor, he said such statements are only admission of the fact that the grand old party has fielded only weak candidates. "Never in my life, I have seen a battle wherein the 'general' (read Congress leadership) has given up the fight and is stating it publicly that they have fielded weak candidates," he said. Mr Goyal said another testimony to this inevitability comes due to the fact that Mr Gandhi has himself chosen to shift to Wayanad in Kerala to look for a safe seat.
"Smriti Irani victory is a certain....It is good that he has not contested from Karnataka. Now we are getting reports that JD(S)-Congress alliance is heading for a rout in Karnataka," Mr Goyal claimed. He said once Smriti Irani gets elected from Amethi, the key parliamentary constituency will also see faster development like the rest of India.
"People of Amethi are now looking for an 'apna sansad (their true representative)' and not someone who makes a trip in five years just like a tourist," Mr Goyal added. Complimenting the Modi government for 'success' in getting Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar declared as a global terrorist, the BJP leader said the 'weak leadership' of Congress party could never provide proper leadership to India globally.
"Today all Indians are feeling proud over the fact that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has emerged as a 'majboot (strong)' nation," he said. "Today Pakistan stands isolated and entire world in backing India," Mr Goyal said adding Mr Modi has for his part emerged as a truly global leader. (UNI)