Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday asserted that the Lok Sabha elections were about protecting the institutions which give "voice to people of this great country" and said that his party has done "A-grade" job fighting the BJP and RSS ideology.
"I am proud to say that we have fought Narendra Modi and BJP. We have protected the institutions of this country, which is our main duty, from Narendra Modi, the BJP, and the RSS. This fight was about protecting Supreme Court, RBI, the Constitution and all the institutions that make this great country and give voice to people," he said at a press conference here as the campaign came to a close in the Lok Sabha polls.
He said, "We have given a good fight (to the BJP). Our strategy was to raise people's issues and we effectively did it. We played A-grade role of the Opposition. We incircled Modi and dismantled his idea. We raise farmers issues. We told to people that Rs 15 lakh cannot be given but 3.6 lakhs can be given in 5 years."
Gandhi accused the BJP of exorbitant use of the money during elections.
He said: "Modi and BJP have so much money. there is a comparison in our wealth. I think it would be around 1:20. They have unlimited money, unlimited marketing, unlimited TV, whereas we have the only truth. The truth will triumph."
"I am, as an Indian, extremely proud that millions of people stood with us and stopped Narendra Modi," Gandhi said.
The Congress chief, however, refused to comment on Congress' seat tally in the elections and alliance with other Opposition parties, saying that it would be disrespect of the Indian people to comment on their decision before it is out.
He said that a decision on the prime ministerial post of a non-BJP government at the Centre would be taken after the Lok Sabha poll results are out on May 23.
"People will deliver their mandate on May 23. I will not comment on it before their decision is out. I do not want to prejudge the judgment of Indian people. We will take the decision on the basis of what people decide," Gandhi said when asked if the Congress would compromise on the prime minister's post.
Gandhi refused to comment on BSP chief Mayawati and other leaders' aspirations for the top job but asserted that "secular formations" will win the maximum number of seats in the polls. "Secular formations are going to win the maximum seats in the election," he said.
Gandhi scion said: "I made it very clear to Priyanka and Jyotiraditya Scindia that their first motive was to ensure BJP's defeat then pushing Congress ideology and win Vidhansabha elections in UP."
"I do not want to comment on Mayawati ji or any other leader. Ideologically, they are broadly on the same page as we are on. I do not see Mamata ji, Naidu ji, Mayawati ji or Mulayam Singh supporting the BJP," he said.
He alleged that the Election Commission's role in this election was "evidently" biased.
Gandhi said: "EC's role in this election is biased. Modi says whatever he wants to but other people are curtailed to speak. Partiality is evident. It is also clear in EC's schedule. We only can believe on the poll schedule."
The Congress chief took a dig at Modi for holding the first press conference since he took power, days before the declaration of poll results. "Very good, very impressive. PM's first press conference happens just 4-5 days before election results. Unprecedented!" he said.
"Randeep ji told me that the doors have been locked to prevent journalists who want to enter there. Let me ask as to why did he not debate with me on Rafale issue. I challenged you (Modi) to talk about Anil Ambani, I want to ask you why you gave Rs 30,000 crore of Air Force to (Ambani)," he said.
Gandhi complained to the media for allegedly not asking Modi hard questions like to him. "I have a complaint to the press, you ask hard questions to me but you ask the PM how he eats mango, you ask him about Balakot," he said.
On the issue of PM raising dragging his family members in the polls, he said: "I said that I respect Narendra Modi, his parents and PM post. No matter how much hatred he hurls at me, I will return the love. If Narendra Modi's parents, who are not in politics, even if they did something wrong, I will not comment but if he wants to use foul words for my family, he is free to do that."
On the question of Sonia Gandhi' role in Opposition government formation, he said: "Sonia and Manmohan, our seniors, have so much of experience. I'm not Narendra Modi. I do kick out the experience. We will get the benefit from their experience."
Campaigning for the phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha elections ended on 5 pm today. Counting for votes will begin on May 23 to decide the next federal government.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)