Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that a ‘mahagathbandhan’ to stop Narendra Modi “reflects the sentiment of not just politicians but also the people of India”. This could be in reference to the forming of a grand alliance of opposition parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“It is the sentiment of the people and not just political parties which are opposed to the BJP, to have a mahagathbandhan that can take on the [Bharatiya Janata Party], the [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” The Indian Express quoted Gandhi as saying in Mumbai.

He, however, remained silent on who would lead the grand alliance, according to the daily.

Gandhi once again criticised Modi government’s demonetisation, and said that it had a huge impact on small traders and businessmen. “There was an attack on Mumbai [through demonetisation],” he said. “They were attacked by the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.” He also said that Modi and the BJP were attacking the Constitution and institutions of the nation.

Gandhi said that crude oil prices have reduced since Manmohan Singh’s tenure but petrol prices continue to be high. “This is because direct bank transfer benefit is being given to the rich,” he said, according to Firstpost. “We have asked the prime minister to get petrol and diesel under GST but he is not interested.”