Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the Congress has managed to dismantle the idea of Narendra Modi in the past five years.
He also mocked the prime minister for holding his first press conference just days before polling ends.
BJP chief Amit Shah and Modi held a press conference at the party headquarters at the same time when Gandhi addressed the media at the Congress head office.
Gandhi said he won’t second guess the people of India on the upcoming results and would respond to the issue of the prime minister only after that.
“Don’t get impatient. Wait till May 23. I will not prejudge the people of India,” Gandhi said on a range of queries on who will form the next government and if the Congress would be open to the question of prime ministership.
“If you ask me the same question in different ways I am not going to change my answer,” he said.
Gandhi also said he didn’t think leaders of regional parties such as Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav or Chandrababu Naidu and others will support a BJP government.
He was answering a question on whether parties that fought independently in elections would work together after May 23 should the situation warrant.
“I respect the decision of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav to contest in Uttar Pradesh on their own. But these parties are our ideological co-travellers,” he said, indicating that the anti-BJP parties could come together post elections.
Gandhi also took jibes at PM Narendra Modi for accompanying BJP chief Amit Shah to a press conference and said, “I hope the PM answers my question. Why didn’t he debate me on Rafale?”
Gandhi earlier called PM’s presence at a press conference “unprecedented and very impressive”.
Gandhi also said the Congress had done well as an opposition party and played “A grade” role as an opposition despite low numbers in the Lok Sabha.
“Why did the prime minister not accept my challenge for a debate on the Rafale issue,” asked Gandhi.
Answering a question, he asserted that the philosophy of Shah and Modi cannot be the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi also said that the Election Commission’s role in these polls has been “biased” and it has issued orders keeping in mind Modi’s schedule.
The Congress president also thanked party workers for the election campaign.
“I’m not Narendra Modi, won’t ignore experience. The Congress will benefit from Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh’s experience,” he said.
“PM Modi will again do some ‘distract India’ event, but country won’t get distracted,” he said.
The Congress has tried to protect institutions from PM Modi and BJP, he said.