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‘400 paar’ a joke, ‘300 paar’ impossible, ‘200 paar’ challenge for BJP: Tharoor

It is tremendously positive for our side. We are not suggesting that there is an overwhelming wave but there certainly isn’t one for the government, the Congress leader said.

Shashi TharoorNEW DELHI: The BJP’s claim of ‘400 paar’ is a joke, ‘300 paar’ impossible and even ‘200 paar’ may be a challenge in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said, terming the ruling party’s loss a ‘foregone conclusion’.

Tharoor also claimed the BJP will draw a blank in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and will do worse than its 2019 performance in the South.

Tharoor, who was locked in a three-way contest with Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP and P Raveendran of the CPI in Thiruvananthapuram where polling took place on April 26, said he is looking at a “very comfortable win”.

If he emerges victorious, it will be a fourth consecutive win for the author-politician from Thiruvananthapuram, who is the longest-serving MP from the constituency.

Back in Delhi after a nearly two-month high-voltage campaign in Thiruvananthapuram, the Congress Working Committee member will now canvass in other parts of the country, being a sought after campaigner due to his oratory skills and celebrity status.

Asked how it was looking for the Congress and the INDIA bloc after two phases of the polls, the former Union minister said, “190 seats have voted so far and what I am picking up from my sources, it is tremendously positive for our side. We are not suggesting that there is an overwhelming wave but there certainly isn’t one for the government.”

“In fact, many who have been following elections for some time say that the difference between this election and the ones in 2014 and 2019 is that the predominant emotion of the BJP voters appears to be indifference and lack of enthusiasm,” Tharoor said during the freewheeling interaction.

In his view, Congress members are feeling “cautiously optimistic” about many places in Hindi-speaking states that have voted so far.

“So, I would say that on balance, we are far more ahead than we would have expected at this time. Of course, there are five more phases to go in this unnecessarily protracted election,” Tharoor said.

Asked how many seats the Congress and the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) would get in the polls, Tharoor said in a lighter vein that he does not predict scores even as a cricket fan but only predicts victories.

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