Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed on Sunday that while the Opposition parties’ alliances were with each other, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alliance was with the “125 crore” people of India. Modi was speaking to the Bharatiya Janata Party booth-level workers from five constituencies via video conferencing, the Hindustan Times reported.

The prime minister ridiculed the United India rally organised by Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday. “They’ve formed alliances with each other,” he said. “We have formed an alliance with 125 crore people. Which is stronger?”

He said: “Most leaders on that stage in Kolkata were either sons of influential people or were trying to set up their own children. They have ‘dhanshakti’ [wealth], we have ‘janshakti’ [power of the people].”

The United India rally was attended by several Opposition leaders.

“This alliance is a unique one,” the prime minister said. “It is an alliance of the rich, an alliance of uncle and nephew, an alliance of the corrupt, of scams, of negativity, of instability, of inequality.”

Modi claimed the Opposition had already started making excuses for their defeat in the 2019 elections. He said the Opposition had been blaming electronic voting machines, and accused it for taking people for granted. “They consider the public stupid and so keep changing colours,” he said. Many Opposition leaders at the Kolkata rally had demanded that ballot papers be used instead of EVMs.

The prime minister denied that the Centre introduced 10% reservation for the economically backward among upper castes because the General Elections are coming soon. “I want to ask all those people who are saying that we brought in the 10% reservation bill ahead of the elections, when is there not an election in the country?” he asked.

Modi said that if the Centre had brought in the legislation last year, the Opposition would have claimed it was done with an eye on the Assembly elections in five states.