An upbeat Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday asserted that a united opposition would defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"A united opposition will ensure the defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and prevent Narendra Modi from winning again from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in the 2019 parliamentary elections," Rahul Gandhi said at a media interaction here.
Hinting at the coming together of the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for 2019, Rahul Gandhi said the opposition parties would keep aside their regional aspirations and personal ambitions to jointly bring down the BJP and Narendra Modi next year.
"Forget the BJP and PM Modi winning in the next elections. I foresee the ruling NDA coalition collapsing as never before," he predicted.
Gandhi was on a two-day visit to the southern state since Saturday for the sixth time in two months to campaign for the party.
"I don't see the BJP winning the next election in the face of a united opposition and rising public anger against its government and leadership," he said.
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi said the Congress would not only win in Karnataka, but also in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were assembly elections are due later this year.
"How and from where the BJP will win seats when other opposition and reginal parties close ranks and contest jointly against it in the 2019 polls," he said.
Gandhi also ruled out a third front against the Congress and the BJP in the next year's general elections.
Later, Gandhi participated at the ruling party's 'Jan Ashirvada Yatra', held for the people's blessings in the May 12 Karnataka assembly election.
Noting that the assembly poll would be a battle of ideologies between the Congress and the BJP, Gandhi said Bengaluru's founder Kempegowda and Karnataka's 12th century social reformer Basavanna taught on how to take everyone together for the good of all and on the development path.
"Bengaluru is the symbol of modern India. Besides (state-run enterprises like) HAL, ISRO, BEL, BEML and ITI, it has best academic and research institutions like IISc and IIM, which attracted global IT firms and multinationals," said Gandhi, who earlier in the day, interacted with workers of the city civic corporation, women entrepreneurs and top executives of India Inc here.
Rahul, Sonia will lose their LS seats in 2019, says BJP
Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may lose from Varanasi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP on Sunday said the Congress president and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, will lose from their respective constituencies due to the people's growing "disappointment" with them.
BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni said Rahul Gandhi should not worry about Modi and should rather be concerned about his and Sonia Gandhi's electoral fate in 2019.
"In the kind of circumstances prevailing today, both Rahul and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, will lose from their seats, Amethi and Raebareli, respectively. They have done nothing in their constituencies and the people's disappointment with them is growing," he said.
The comments came in the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi's claim that Modi may lose from Varanasi against a united opposition in 2019.