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"PM Modi provoking people, EC should take action": Mallikarjun Kharge

Mumbai: Reacting to the charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that, "SP, Congress will run bulldozer over Ram Temple if voted to power", Congress president Malliakarjun Kharge said that the former is "provoking" people and the Election Commission "should take action".
He also accused PM Modi of supporting the "illegal" Mahayuti government in Maharashtra.
"We have not used bulldozers to date... The Election Commission should take action against those who make instigating speeches. The Prime Minister himself is doing it. He is provoking people. After our government comes, everything will be protected as per our Constitution, we will follow the Constitution," Kharge told reporters here.
He was speaking at a press conference in Mumbai. Nationalist Congress Party (SP) Sharad Pawar and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery were also present.
"INDIA bloc will win 46 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra. People are saying this themselves. Our alliance will win maximum seats and defeat BJP...," Kharge claimed.
The Congress chief also lamented that the party symbol was "taken away" from the "real parties" in Maharashtra, referring to Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party and given to parties "supporting" the BJP.
"The illegal 'Mahayuti' government of Maharashtra was formed on the basis of betrayal and conspiracy and the Prime Minister himself is supporting it and his rallies are also being held in Maharashtra and wherever he goes, he tries to create a rift among the people...," he alleged, adding, "The party symbol was taken away from the real parties and given to the parties supporting BJP. This is the decision of the court, ECI but everything happens on the instructions of Modi ji...".
"PM Modi is saying that he is providing 5 kg ration to 80 crore poor. We will give 10 kg after forming the government...," he added.
Speaking on the alliance between the Aam Admi Party and Congress in the National Capital for the May 20 Lok Sabha elections and the two parties' decision to go solo in Punjab, the Congress chief said, "We have alliance only on 3 seats in Delhi, there is an alliance in Chandigarh, we have given them seats in Gujarat and Haryana, we will work there only".
"But we are fighting against each other in Punjab. This is a democracy, it is not autocracy. We will do whatever has to be done to defeat BJP," he said.
The Congress also said that West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who recently announced to provide outside support to the INDIA bloc government if it is voted to power after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, is naturally with the anti-BJP front.
"Mamata ji, first she said that they will support from outside. Recently she has said that if the INDIA government is formed then she will join the government, so, naturally, she is with the alliance," Kharge said.
Elections in 6 Lok Sabha seats of Mumbai are scheduled for Phase 5. The seats going to polls are Mumbai North, Mumbai North West, Mumbai North East, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai South and Mumbai South Central.
The other constituencies of Maharashtra that will be part of the ongoing election in the fifth phase include Dhule, Dindori, Nashik, Kalyan, Palghar, Bhiwandi and Thane.
Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second largest after Uttar Pradesh. Voting for the first four phases has concluded and for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, polling is set to be held on May 20.
The 2024 Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases running from April 19 to June 1. The counting and results will be declared on June 4.

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