With a year to go for next general elections, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said the country is not safe in the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, the former Union Minister said, “Unfortunately, the evidence we have seen in the last four years (of the National Democratic Alliance’s rule) does not suggest that this country is safe in the hands of the present government.”
The Thiruvananthapuram MP said the time has come to build a nation that is “productive, prosperous and safe”. “The time has come for us to build a nation that is productive, prosperous, safe and inclusive. We cannot have a nation built on divides,” he added.
On being asked about the poll outcome in Karnataka, he said, “I do not believe in some of the exit polls that I have seen. Ultimately, what matters is what happens when the ballots are counted on May 15.” “Some seats in southern Karnataka will be taken by the JD(S). We are leaving every possibility open. Every Congressman or (party) activist I have met in Karnataka has no doubt that we will be the single largest party. I saw a lot of confidence in them. If you ask about absolute majority for a party, I am afraid that we have to wait till May 15,” he further said.
Some exit polls have shown that Congress will emerge as a single largest party, while others have predicted that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will get the maximum seats in a fractured mandate. In the 225-member state assembly, a party needs at least 112 seats to form the government.
In 2013, the Congress had won with a clear majority by securing 122 seats, while the BJP and the JDS had managed to grab 40 seats each in the assembly.