‘UPA government has a good track record of taking up welfare schemes’

Congress leader and Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily said here on Sunday that though Narendra Modi’s campaign has had a “polarisation effect” in the country, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will not form the next government at the Centre as the number of its partners is dwindling.

Addressing presspersons here, the Minister said that not all partners of the NDA were happy with the BJP announcing Mr. Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.

Hence, the NDA would not be in a position to form the government at the Centre even if it emerged as the single largest party in next year’s Lok Sabha election.

Mr. Moily said that the BJP did not have national presence as the Congress did. The BJP has no base in South India, North East India and East India. Hence, it would have to depend on NDA partners to form the government.

To a question that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stated that Mr. Modi was not a force to be reckoned with, Mr. Moily replied: “Even Hitler and Bismarck had been ‘forces to be reckoned with’.”

Exuding the confidence that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) would form the government at the Centre for the third time in 2014, he said that the results of the Assembly elections in four States were not to considered the “semi-final”. “We do not dread the results,” he said.

Mr. Moily said that victory and defeat were part of the game in politics. He said that the UPA government had a good track record that would lead the Congress to victory in next year’s elections.