Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demonstrated his leadership capabilities through the Bharat Jodo Yatra, according to TMC MP Shatrughan Sinha. In an interview with PTI, Sinha expressed confidence that Gandhi’s 3,570-km-long march, commencing in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, would contribute to doubling the Congress’s seat count in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, considering their 2019 tally of 52 seats.
Sinha praised the Bharat Jodo Yatra for garnering a positive response, attributing it to Rahul Gandhi’s charisma and the genuine support of the people. He anticipated that the yatra would significantly enhance the Congress’s parliamentary representation in the upcoming elections. Sinha emphasized that Gandhi’s walking tour distinguished itself from BJP leaders’ “Rath yatras,” noting the substantial public turnout in support of the Congress leader.
Addressing the transformation in public perception, Sinha, a former BJP MP who later joined the TMC, remarked that those who once dismissed Rahul Gandhi as ‘Pappu’ had been proven wrong. Despite the BJP’s mockery, Sinha challenged them to undertake a similar foot journey if they possessed the same determination. He affirmed his belief that Rahul Gandhi’s appeal would have a significant impact in the forthcoming elections.
Regarding the Gujarat elections, Sinha predicted that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could emerge as either the “kingmaker or the king” himself. He attributed this potential outcome to a shifting dynamic within the saffron camp and emphasized Kejriwal’s strategic move of advocating for images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on currency notes.
Sinha asserted that Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, would be a “game-changer” in the 2024 Lok Sabha election and expressed hope for improved relations between the TMC and the Congress. He underscored the fluid nature of political alliances, suggesting that collaboration among major opposition parties could reshape the country’s political landscape.
Responding to queries about the face of the opposition in the 2024 elections, Sinha emphasized that the electorate would ultimately decide the right leader based on numbers and mandates. He pointed out the growing momentum of anti-BJP parties in various states and criticized the BJP for what he deemed as politically motivated “missing” posters in his constituency of Asansol.
Sinha dismissed these posters as the work of those unable to accept defeat in the recent by-election and asserted his consistent presence in Asansol, attested by the local residents.