I.N.D.I. Alliance Poised to Secure Government with 295 Seats, Says Kharge After Coalition Talks

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Srijita Seal

Desher Samay:  Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that the I.N.D.I. Alliance is set to win at least 295 seats. On Saturday, leaders of the I.N.D.I. Alliance met at his residence in Delhi. After a two-and-a-half-hour meeting, the Congress President addressed the members and supporters of the I.N.D.I. Alliance, urging them not to be perturbed or pay much heed to the exit polls’ indications. He emphasized that the fight would continue until the counting is complete and urged everyone to stay grounded and persistent until the counting is finished.

Chief Minister of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress Supremo Mamata Banerjee had already informed that she would not be able to attend the meeting. Jammu and Kashmir PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti was also absent from the meeting; she had earlier stated that she was busy with her mother’s treatment. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin was not present either. He had informed in advance that he would be occupied with other work; hence, he sent the party’s treasurer to attend the meeting.

NCP President Sharad Pawar’s comments at the meeting have sparked intense discussions. The veteran leader reiterated that, after analyzing the current situation in the country, smaller parties should merge with the Congress. He had made a similar statement in Maharashtra a few days ago.

Apart from Kharge, on behalf of Congress, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were also present. KC Venugopal was there as well. The general secretaries of CPM and CPI, Sitaram Yechury and D Raja respectively, were also present at the meeting.

The context of exit polls arose in the discussion. On Saturday morning, Rahul Gandhi advised party workers not to give importance to the results of booth-level reviews. He suggested preparing for the day of counting. Samajwadi Party’s President, Akhilesh Yadav, said that the BJP would silently attempt to manipulate the counting center. He reminded everyone of the BJP rigging the ballot in the mayoral election of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

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