By Sanjay Borkar
Panaji, May 20 (IANS): Stating that the Karnataka assembly election has given a ray of hope and has instilled confidence in the people of the nation, Congress leaders in Goa expect that the BJP will meet the same fate as in 2004, when their theme of 'India Shining was rejected by the voters, propelling the grand old party to power.
As the 2004 Lok Sabha elections had surprised the Congress-led UPA and the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP, with the results with the Congress taking over power from the saffron party, now it hopes for a similar political wave, claiming that ‘India didn't Shine in 2004' and now ‘Acche Din' have not come in reality.
Speaking to IANS, Goa Congress senior vice president M K Sheikh said that there is every possibility that the Congress can win the Lok Sabha election of 2024 with a big margin.
"The NDA's India Shining campaign had failed in 2004. Now they have been exposed by the people of Karnataka. Their promises of 'Acche Din' have not come in reality. People have realized it. Hence I am sure that people will vote wisely in the coming general election," Sheikh, a Congressman for the last 50 years, said.
"I feel that Karnataka voted wisely and gave victory to the Congress. The people are intelligent, the same trend will be seen in the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram… After the results of these states we will come to know the exact position... if we get success there then it is sure that people will show the door to the BJP and we are confident of it," he said.
He added that the effects of the Karnataka polls will remain till these elections take place. "This effect is there across the nation. The people of Karnataka have taught a lesson to the BJP. The other states will also show them their place," Sheikh claimed.
He said that though the UPA government had carried out many developmental works, it failed to publicise the work.
"The UPA government was there for two terms. We have done a lot of work, but we could not do marketing. We should have done it when we were in power, now we can take ahead only our ideology," Sheikh said.
He said that the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra' has created awareness among the people and they have hailed the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
"People have realized where BJP is taking the nation. Rahul Gandhi will continue this yatra in other states and he will get connected with people from those states from where the yatra had not passed," he said.
He said that the BJP had created an image of Rahul Gandhi as ‘Pappu', which has now been changed after knowing the difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.
"Rahul Gandhi has emerged as an accomplished leader and mature politician. We see him as the next Prime Minister of India. Even the youth are with him. He is shining today. He has sense and vision to take the nation ahead. His talk is appealing. His speeches are a thousand times more impressive than Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.
Speaking about winning both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa, Sheikh said they are optimistic about winning.
He said that even the BJP's five-time MP Shripad Naik may lose this time from North Goa.
Girish Chodankar, another senior leader of the Congress, said that for the last nine years the people had a lot of expectations from the Modi government, but they have failed to deliver.
"In 2004 they had the theme of ‘India Shining' but nothing was shining. For the last nine years people have been looking for ‘Acche Din' promised by the BJP. People have a feeling now that ‘Purane Din' were better than this ‘Acche Din', which have not come in reality," he said.
He said that nine years ago prices of LPG fuel were affordable for the people, but have now skyrocketed.
"Even now the economy has collapsed. Hence they can't call it ‘Acche Din'. It is a similar promise like ‘India Shining'.
"Karnataka, double engine, which I call a trouble engine, failed to deliver. It was a 40 per cent Sarkar, whom the people have defeated. We have given good assurances to the people of Karnataka, and we will fulfil them," he said.
He said that Bharat Jodo Yatra is a big success, which will help them to win the Lok Sabha election. "Rahul Gandhi connected with people during this yatra and heard ‘Man Ki Baat' of people, whereas Modi forced people to hear his ‘Man ki baat'. He doesn't listen to the voice of the public," he said.
He said that BJP used civil citizens like Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal and also levelled allegations of scams. "For which our achievements were overshadowed and we faced defeat," he said.
"Rahul Gandhi is honest and sincere. He does politics of truth without doing marketing. BJP spent crores of rupees to tarnish his image. But people have come to know about his nature and people have started loving him," he said.