Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor

Hyderabad: Claiming that there is “no Modi-wave today” in the country,  former Union minister Shashi Tharoor said Wednesday the BJP will “be lucky to win 10 seats” in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, if the Congress, SP and BSP come together.

The Congress MP from Thiruvanathapuram termed the 2019 polls as “a battle for India’s democratic soul” and said his party would certainly bring the opposition parties on a single platform “though it is not simple and easy”. “In 2014, Modi’s party (along with allies) bagged 73 (Lok Sabha) seats out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh,” Tharoor told reporters during an interactive session at Nalsar near here.

“But had you added the votes of the three principal opposition parties – the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, the BJP, at the peak of Modi’s wave, would have lost 49 of these seats,” he added. “But there is no Modi wave today in the country. You can be sure if these three parties campaign together, do not divide the vote, and put up common candidates in UP, they (BJP) will be lucky to win 10 seats in 2019,” he said.

Terming the 2019 polls as “a battle for India’s democratic soul”, the Congress leader said his party would never compromise on its core values. “For us (Congress) secularism is non-negotiable, inclusiveness is non-negotiable, social justice, particularly for the poor and marginalised communities, the adivasis and the vulnerable groups, is non-negotiable,” he said. Tharoor, who has come out with a book on his understanding of Hindu religion, said Hinduism is a religion and Hindutva a political ideology.

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