Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday expressed confidence in an united opposition’s potential to remove the BJP from power after next year’s national elections.
Mr Gandhi, who is currently on a US tour, was interacting with journalists at the National Press Club in Washington yesterday
“I think the Congress party will do very well in the next election. I think it will surprise people. Just do the math, a united opposition will defeat the BJP on its own,” he said.
With less than a year left for the parliament elections, he said the Congress was holding regular talks with other Opposition parties.
“The opposition is pretty well united. We are having conversations with all the Opposition (parties). I think quite a lot of good work is happening there. It’s a complicated discussion because there are spaces where we are competing with the Opposition. So a bit of give and take is required,” he said.
“But I am confident that it (a grand Opposition alliance) will happen,” he added.
Mr Gandhi also accused the government of “capturing” institutions, a charge levelled by various opposition leaders in the past and denied by the ruling party.
The Congress leader opened up on losing his Parliament membership over his conviction in a defamation case, saying it was “an advantage” for him.
“It allows me to completely redefine myself. I think they have given me a gift, frankly. They don’t realize it, but they have,” he said.
He also said he wasn’t concerned about threats to his life and that can’t be the reason for backing down.
“I am not concerned about threats of assassination. Everybody has to die. That’s what I learnt from my grandmother and father – you don’t back down because of something like that,” the Congress leader said.
His grandmother Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984 while his father Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide attack in 1991. Both were former prime ministers.
Mr Gandhi’s US tour comes weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit later this month.
With inputs from ANI and AFP