"I do not think BJP will be the single largest party. In 2004, Vajpayee drew large crowds just as Modi this time but despite the ‘India Shining’ campaign, it was the UPA that came to power,” he said.

Pawar, whose party is a key ally of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, had earlier said although the NDA would fail to get a majority, BJP could emerge as the single largest party.

Shinde, who was here to campaign for Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam, rejected suggestion that his party had already become ‘pessimistic’ about the election outcome.

He said the country had faith in the Congress and its secular traditions. He cited the comeback of former prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1980 elections after the 1977 rout of Congress.

When asked about sitting Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi being denied a ticket this time, Shinde said it was a decision of the party high command.

He, however, maintained that Kalmadi cannot be held guilty in the 2010 CWG scam until a court verdict in the case was pronounced.

(Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk