Lok Sabha Elections 2024: ‘BJP’s 400 paar seat target is complete fantasy,’ Shashi Tharoor explains why

The five phases of the Lok Sabha elections to 428 of the 543 seats are over. Voting for the remaining two phases will be held on May 25 and June 1. The votes for all seven phases will be counted on June 4.

Congress leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Shashi Tharoor predicted that his party’s confidence has increased in the run-up to the last two phases of elections. Tharoor said the Congress and INDIA bloc candidates will do better than the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

“I would say with some confidence that I am looking at the overall picture in the country with a great deal of self-belief. The reason for this is both common sense and the trends we have seen in the country in the course of the first few phases,” Tharoor, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram, said speaking with the media in New Delhi on May 22. All seven seats of Delhi will vote in the sixth phase of polling on May 25.

Also Read: ‘310 paar already’: Amit Shah urges people to help PM Modi win over 400 Lok Sabha seats

“When I say common sense, it was already very clear when BJP started talking about ‘Abki Baar 400 Paar’ that this was a complete fantasy. Last time in 2019 (Lok Sabha Elections), thanks to the tragedy in Pulwama and the response in Balakot and the conversion of the election from what should have been a referendum on the economic failures of the first term of Mr Modi, it became, instead, a national security election in 2019 and as a result, they (BJP) maxed out in several states,” Tharoor said analysing the BJP’s win in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

The saffron party won 303 seats, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which the BJP leads, bagged 353 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections. The Congress won just 52 seats. 

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), seeking a record third term under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has set a target of winning 400 seats this election. The ruling alliance is challenged by the opposition parties led by the Congress under the banner of the INDIA bloc.

Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah claimed on May 21 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already won 310 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats by the end of Phase 5 of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Can Rajeev Chandrasekhar beat 3-time winner Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram?

“You know in 6 states, they won every single seat. In 3 states, they won all but one seat, and in two, they won all but two. Congress was certainly given a resounding defeat in 2019. Now, in all those 11 states those results are impossible to replicate. And we are already seeing this very clearly after the first two phases…The strongholds of BJP have shown a minimal turnout and significant drop in voting figures,” said Tharoor, who is seeking a fourth term from Thiruvananthapuram in the 2024 elections.

Tharoor, who is campaigning in Delhi and will next head to Gurugram, said that the Congress and INDIA bloc candidates were doing well even in BJP-bastion states like Gujarat.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Polls 2024 Phase 3 voting today: How can BJP+ achieve 400-seat target? Top pollster Pradeep Gupta explains

“Two weeks have passed since Kerala voted on April 26. And what we are picking is the confirmation of this trend. In places like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and even Uttar Pradesh, we are doing significantly better than last time… Even from a few places in Gujarat, it is not good news for the government. Our atma vishwas (confidence) has gone up. We are in a positive trajectory going into the last two phases,” Tharoor said. 

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Published: 22 May 2024, 12:46 PM IST

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