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Thankfully, they are not talking '600-paar': Mallikarjun Kharge on BJP's '400-paar' target

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Rae Bareli (UP), May 15 (PTI) Making fun of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that the NDA's tally is going "400-paar" (400-plus) this Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Wednesday said thankfully he is not talking about "600-paar" because there are only 543 parliamentary seats.

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Addressing a rally at Sarai Umar in the Harchandpur assembly segment here, Kharge also said he has signed all the "promises made by our party" and they will be fulfilled if the INDIA bloc forms government. "It's not like 'Modi ki guarantee' which is never fulfilled." He launched a scathing attack on the PM, alleging his government is "cut off from the poor", and is working just for the interest of a handful of industrialists. People will bid goodbye to this dispensation and the opposition coalition will come to power after the results are announced in the first week of June, Kharge said.

"Modi and the BJP have been talking about '400-paar',. fortunately they are not speaking about '600-paar' as there is a constitutional limit on the strength of Lok Sabha at 543 seats," Kharge said.

The Congress president reiterated that if the INDIA bloc is voted to power, it will double the quantity of free ration provided by the BJP government to the poor.

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He was referring to the Modi government scheme of providing five kg ration to the poor every month. "The Congress brought the Food Security Act, you (PM Modi did nothing. You are giving five kg free ration, if the INDIA bloc forms government, we will give 10 kg ration to the poor." Kharge attacked the PM for saying "Bhago maat (don't flee) to make fun of Rahul Gandhi choosing to contest from Rae Bareli instead of Amethi, which he lost to the BJP's Smriti Irani in 2019.

The fact is that Modi himself has ran away from Gujarat and chose Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to contest the poll, Kharge said. Campaigning to seek vote for Rahul Gandhi, Kharge said Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi ushered in development in Rae Bareli and asked the Modi government to list one new work done by his government in Rae Bareli and Amethi.

He said Modi had promised to double the income of farmers and provide two crore jobs to unemployed youths and asked the crowd "have these been fulfilled?" The Congress president said that after coming to power, the opposition coalition government would fill 30 lakh vacancies in government departments and public sector undertakings out of which half would be for the weaker sections.

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He also made light of the "Modi hai to mumkin hai" slogan of the BJP, saying "it is mumkin that the prices of petrol, diesel and fertilizer would be further increased." Kharge reiterated his party's promises of raising MGNREGA remuneration to Rs 400 and waiving off loans of small farmers as the UPA government did by writing off Rs 72,000-crore worth loans of farmers.

He also talked about providing Rs 8,500 per month, translating into Rs 1 lakh per annum, to the elderly woman of the poor families. He said some BJP leaders are talking of changing the Constitution. "It's because of this Constitution that Modi is sitting on the top post and which provides security to the poor." Election in Rae Bareli is scheduled in the fifth phase on May 20.

Rahul Gandhi is pitted against the BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh and others from the seat. PTI SNS TIR TIR

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