Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not invincible, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi told reporters today in Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, where she filed her nomination papers. "Don't forget 2004," she said, reminding the media of her party Congress taking power despite widespread predictions of a BJP victory.
Do you think PM Modi is invincible, reporters asked Sonia Gandhi, who was with her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi outside the election office where she had come to file her documents.
"Not at all, not at all. Don't forget 2004," Sonia Gandhi, the former Congress president, said. "In 2004 (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji was also invincible but we won," she added, walking away.
Rahul Gandhi, taking over from his mother, said: "There have been many, many people in Indian history that had the arrogance to believe that they are invincible, that they are bigger than the people of India. But they don't realise nobody is bigger than the people. Modi ji's invincibility will be in full view in this election."
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who led a BJP government in 1996, 1998 and 1999, suffered a shock defeat in 2004, despite predictions that he would win another term riding on an "India Shining" campaign.
Sonia Gandhi, who was Congress president at the time, turned down her party leaders' appeals to take office - amid strong protests by the BJP and other parties over a foreign-born Prime Minister - and named Dr Manmohan Singh for the top job.
Sonia Gandhi is fighting for a fourth straight term from Raebareli, which has voted her since 2004, when she vacated Amethi for son Rahul's debut election. Before filing her nomination, she sat for an elaborate puja with her children Rahul and Priyanka, and later took out a roadshow.