Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not coming back to power and the Congress is winning the Lok Sabha polls, party chief Rahul Gandhi has claimed.
"Well, what is pretty clear is we are winning theelections. We are doing better, if you look at the numbers coming from thefirst four phases, the BJP is not winning the elections. That is pretty clear.It is clear as that at least our data for four stages is showing that NarendraModi and the BJP are not coming back," Gandhi told news channel NDTV in aninterview.
On his chances of becoming the next PM, he said it was forthe people to decide.
"It is up to the people of this country. No, it is notmy place to say, you know, (that) I want to be a Prime Minister or I do notwant to be the Prime Minister. It is a decision of the people of India and Irespect the people of India.
"My philosophy is very different. I don't stand on astage and say 'mere aane se pehle haathi so raha tha'. I have 100 percent faithin the wisdom of the people of this country. I believe in the wisdom of thiscountry. Whatever the people choose I am subservient to that," he said.
Claiming that in Uttar Pradesh, "a secular formationwas going to win whether it is BSP, SP, or Congress", he denied that hisparty was dividing the anti-BJP votes in the crucial state which sends 80 MPsto the Lok Sabha.
"Wherever we don't have a strong candidate, we aregiving help to the BSP-SP (which are fighting in alliance). We're saying okay,we're going to harm the BJP. Where we have solid candidates, we are fightingfor our space," he said.
Gandhi said he had told Congress General SecretariesPriyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, who are in charge of eastern andwestern UP respectively, that "our primary aim is to defeat the BJP, so inplaces where we are not going to win, we'll help the (SP-BSP) gathbandan".
In UP, Congress was a threat to BSP chief Mayawati and SPPresident Akhilesh Yadav, he said but noted that he respected the two stateleaders. "As far as I am concerned I am extremely respectful of Mayawatiji and Akhilesh Yadav ji. And I understand that there is a secular formationthat is operating in the UP and it is going to crush the BJP," he said,adding that "the SP-BSP, for strategic reasons, felt they don't have to allywith the Congress".
Articulating his long-term position in UP, he said he hadasked Priyanka Gandhi and Scindia to build the party for the next assemblypolls.
Gandhi also refuted the charge that the Congress had nonational poll alliances saying the party had pacts in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra,Jharkhand, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir and had a clear commitment to DelhiChief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who suddenly brought up Haryana and Punjab intothe game.
"So that was not workable for us. The strategic reasonswe have a party in Haryana, I have to take my party views in Haryana… Youknow I have gone against my party view in Delhi, and I can understand thatthere was a possibility of winning 7 seats in Delhi. Kejriwal ji frankly, AAPdidn't add much to us to in Haryana," he said.
He also said the Congress had successfully conveyed the ideathat Prime Minister Modi was helping the corrupt and there was "massiveunemployment in the country in the country, massive farmer disenchantment andfarmer suicides".
On the slogan "chowkidar chor hai" issue, Gandhisaid that he made a mistake and apologised for it before the Supreme Court.
"I made a mistake in a conversation like this, in theheat of the moment. I made a mistake, a genuine mistake where I said theSupreme Court has said this… and that is not part of the Supreme Courtprocess yet. So I put words in the mouth of the Supreme Court and franklythat…I was wrong, so I apologised," he said, adding that he was notwrong on the slogan though."But I am not apologising in the least forthe slogan 'chowkidar chor hai'… No way," he said.