With the Congress and JD(S) set to form the government in Karnataka after the BJP failed in its efforts, BJP chief Amit Shah said today that governments formed by "such unholy" alliances are unlikely to last long and also rubbished charges of horse-trading by his party.
In his first comments after BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa resigned as the chief minister of Karnataka today, Shah maintained the party did not indulge in any manipulation, and said rather it was the Congress which not only indulged in horse-trading but has "bought the entire stable".
Speaking at a conclave organised by India TV here, Shah hit back at Rahul Gandhi over the latter's corruption charges against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he "does not take" the remarks of the Congress president "seriously".
The BJP president exuded confidence the BJP would win more seats in the 2019 general elections than it won in 2014.
"I can't comment on how long this government will be able to work. But governments formed by such unholy alliances are unlikely to work for long," Shah said.
He asserted that the mandate given by the people of Karnataka favoured BJP, which emerged as the single largest party winning 104 seats. The Congress was rejected by the people, he said, adding that the Gandhi-led party tried to return to power "from backdoor" in alliance with the JD(S).
"It is obvious from the result (Yeddyurappa's resignation) that we did not engage in manipulation to form government, like the Congress did," he said.
Shah observed that the JD(S) directed its attack on the Congress during the campaigning for the May 12 assembly polls and questioned what kind of "principle-based alliance" is it that aimed solely at keeping the BJP away from power in the state.
On the horse-trading allegations levelled by the Congress, Shah hit back saying: "Horse-trading is certainly wrong. But it is the Congress which has bought off the entire stable."
Asked about the Congress celebrating the BJP's failure to form the government, Shah said the old party has evolved a new theory of "seeing victory in its defeat" under Gandhi's leadership as he contended that the people rejected it by giving 78 seats in the state as against BJP's 104.
The BJP president said the people of the state will "punish" the Congress-JD(S) combine the next time it goes to election and asserted the BJP will put on an impressive show in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the state and Uttar Pradesh.
Shah took a jibe at Gandhi over his remark that he was ready to become prime minister if the Congress emerges as the biggest party after the next parliamentary polls.
"None of his (Gandhi's) colleagues are seen saying so.(Congress leader) Ghulam Nabi Azad may say so after my comment... One should see dreams based on size," the BJP chief quipped.
He also dismissed Gandhi's allegations that the BJP disrespected the country's institutions.
To a question, Shah said the opposition parties were against the BJP in the 2014 general polls too, and added that the ruling party will win the next election with an "even bigger mandate".
He trashed questions on the prevalence of "atmosphere of fear" in the country under BJP's watch. "Yes, there is an atmosphere of fear prevailing, but for anti-nationals," he said.
Shah listed Modi government's achievements in various areas, including healthcare, women safety and education. He hailed the "surgical strike" India carried out across the Line of Control in September 2016.