Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah on Wednesday claimed that the mahagathbandhan, or grand alliance, of Opposition parties is an “illusion”.

“The reality of the opposition ‘mahagathbandhan’ is different,” he said at the Republic Summit in Mumbai, PTI reported. “It doesn’t exist and is a ‘bhranti’ [illusion].”

“The mahagathbandhan does not exist anywhere,” he added. “We have fought against all of them in 2014 and defeated them to form the government. They are all regional leaders, they can’t help each other.”

Shah claimed the BJP will win the 2019 General Elections, and gain seats in West Bengal, northeastern states and Odisha. “Not only for the BJP, but it is also necessary for the country that a strong government comes to power,” he said. The polls are expected to be held in April-May 2019.

The BJP chief claimed that the main electoral issues are national security and corruption. “We have provided toilets in 8 crore homes and electricity in 2.5 crore homes,” he added.

Shah conceded that the BJP lost the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, but asserted that it was wrong to link these defeats with the General Elections, as Lok Sabha and state polls are contested on different issues. “We accept the people’s mandate [in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh],” Shah added. “We will introspect on the poll results.”

The BJP chief added that the party would contest the 2019 General Elections “on the basis of our strength and not on the basis of someone’s weakness”. He said that it does not matter who is the Opposition’s candidate for prime minister.