The 2024 Lok Sabha polls are going to be the last elections in India if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is re-elected, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge warned on Monday, reported The Hindu.

“Whether you acknowledge it or not, one of our leaders from INDIA departed yesterday,” Khrage said at a party convention in Bhubaneswar. “He was taken away from us. The current government’s modus operandi involves serving notices to leaders one after another, instilling terror and issuing threats. Individuals are abandoning friendships, alliances and parties out of fear.”

Kharge was referring to Janata Dal (United) Nitish Kumar who severed ties with the INDIA alliance as well as the the ruling Mahagathbandhan comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress in Bihar on Sunday. Hours later, he took oath as Bihar’s chief minister with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Kharge, however, said that the INDIA bloc would not weaken even if one or two individuals left.

“The question arises,” Kharge said. “Can the country, democracy, or constitution survive if so many cowards persist?”

The Rajya Sabha MP said that it was the last opportunity for citizens to cast their votes decisively.

“Following this, no further voting will be possible as there will be no more elections,” he claimed. “Elections [in India] will be held akin to the election of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They will run the government on the basis of accumulated authority and keep returning to power. They will get 200 seats, 300 and 400. They will even the increase number of seats beyond 600.”

In 1976, the Constitution was amended to freeze the Lok Sabha’s expansion until 2001. This was done to allow for population control initiatives to take effect. In 2001, the freeze was extended till 2026. This constitutional amendment mandates that the Lok Sabha’s expansion after 2026 must be based on the first Census after that year, which is supposed to take place in 2031.

Kharge also hailed former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi who he said “had sacrificed their lives for people while Modi is taking lives”.

“If a political leader does not listen to him [Modi], he unleashes CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation], Income Tax and ED [Enforcement Directorate] on him,” he alleged. “He is running the government by this terror mechanism.”

Kharge said that the Congress governed with love and the country made progress in education, health and industry. He said that the party can take credit for establishing various institutions. “The present government seems to derive pleasure from causing discord and conflict among the people,” he alleged.

The Congress leader also alleged that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has digressed from his father Biju Patnaik’s path of Nehru’s ideology and is adhering to that of the BJP.

Kharge alleged the Biju Janta Dal had long been in an undeclared alliance with the BJP, which aims to loot money by selling mineral resources.