New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will come back with 300 plus seats and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will secure a two-third majority in the 2019 general elections, Union minister for railways and coal Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
BJP to secure over 300 seats in 2019, says Piyush Goyal
Acknowledging differences with its long-term ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Goyal told the 16th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, “In a marriage, we should always be willing to take criticism, arguments and partnerships as long as understanding is good and there is no ruffling at leadership level. In Maharashtra, equations have changed rapidly and we do have little hiccups.”
“But the BJP is the numero uno party. We are far ahead of others. We are winning 40-44 seats and it will be a clean sweep in the elections—with alliance,” added Goyal.
The Maharashtra assembly has 288 members and elections are due in October 2019. In the 2014 assembly polls, which the two parties fought on their own, the BJP contested 260 seats and won 122 while the Sena fought 282 and won 63. But before 2014, the long-honoured seat sharing formula gave 171 seats to Shiv Sena and 117 to the BJP.
Replying to a question, Goyal, who briefly held the finance ministry portfolio, denied the NDA government was losing the economic narrative saying, “Absolutely not. People of India are smart and are watchful of what a government does when times are good and when times are bad.”
His comments come in the backdrop of the NDA government trying to dominate the economic narrative. India’s economy accelerated to a nine-quarter high at 8.2% in the first quarter of 2018-19, beating expectations on the back of a strong pickup in manufacturing and a low base in the year-ago period. This is likely to provide a much-needed breather to the government that is under fire over the depreciating rupee, demonetization and a widening current account deficit.