Election battle enters the Hindi heartland, direct fight between BJP and Congress, says Arun Jaitley

  • The fourth phase is scheduled for April 29, when voting would take place in 71 constituencies
  • The senior BJP leader expressed confidence that the party would register a mandate larger than 2014

NEW DELHI: With the fourth phase of general election set on April 29, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the electoral battle is now set to enter the Hindi heartland where BJP and Congress would be in direct fight.

“The party has made significant gains in the east and also in Karnataka. Regional parties dominate in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where both Congress and TDP are staring at a washout. In other parts including North-east, Bengal and Odisha, the contest was between the regional parties and the BJP," he said, in his latest blog on Facebook.

The senior BJP leader expressed confidence that the party would register a mandate larger than 2014. “Most of the States where elections are to be held in future rounds, it is a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP." he said.

Out of the total 543 Lok Sabha constituencies, voting on 304 seats has already been completed. Besides Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and some seats of Uttar Pradesh, the first three rounds were restricted to Eastern and southern states.

The fourth phase is scheduled for April 29, when voting would take place in 71 constituencies in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Lambasting the Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said he (Gandhi) had positioned the party against both the national interest and national mood, post the Balakot strike. “He (Gandhi) considered Balakot not a blow to Pakistan sponsored terrorism but to the Congress Party," said Jaitley.

The senior BJP leader also took a dig at Gandhi over the recent contempt notice by the Supreme Court for his ‘Chowkidar Chor hai’ remark. “Rahul (Gandhi) became a victim of his own falsehood. Having to apologise to the Supreme Court for false public narrative significantly diminishes the credibility of a political leader," he wrote in his Facebook blog.

Raising the pitch for a ‘New India’, Jaitley said people want to be positive, than be cynical and critical about their own country. The narrative on Rafale and loan waiver being built by the opposition would not strike a chord with the electorate, he said.

“The Congress is contesting the 2019 election on the 1971 agenda. It is not in tune with the times," he wrote.

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