BJP chief Amit Shah at the meeting on Monday. (Twitter/@AmitShah)
Asserting that the BJP will break the “myth” that it cannot return to power at the centre, its president Amit Shah said on Monday that the party will emerge stronger in the 2019 polls compared to the last general election. At a meeting of party’s national office-bearers, state presidents and other key leaders from states, Shah set the tone for the next parliamentary election and described the proposed alliance of opposition parties against the BJP as a matter of happiness, saying it underlined his party’s strength.
Party spokespersons Sudhanshu Trivedi and Shahnawaz Hussain briefed reporters on Shah’s speech, which Hussain described as the sounding of bugle for the Lok Sabha polls, a day ahead announcement of the crucial Karnataka assembly election results.
Shah said his party had already belied those who said its massive win in the 2014 poll was a “fluke” by winning 11 state assembly elections and now had over 1800 MLAs and over 11 crore members. He also expressed confidence that the BJP will wrest Karnataka from the Congress.
Amid claims by opposition parties that the BJP may find the going tough in 2019 if they unite, he said an atmosphere is created before every poll to downplay his party’s chances and some people then look for all kinds of reasons to belittle its victory.
Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and organisational strength of the BJP had also played a key role in its successes, he said, adding that the Congress’ fall was a result of its arrogance of power and neglect of its organisation, which was destroyed over the years.
With the Modi government set to complete its fourth year this month, Shah said it had served the poor, and party workers can take pride in its performance as they strive to reatin power in 2019.
Claiming that the BJP has not formed government merely to be in power but to change the country, he said it will build an India so strong that the rest of the world will look at it in a manner it beholds the United States, according to Hussain.
“It was said about the BJP that it may form government once but does not return to power. We have to break this myth. When we will win the election in 2019, then we will prove that we know how to form, run and return to government,” he said.
Shah might have on his mind the fate of the first BJP-led NDA government which had lost in the 2004 Lok Sabha poll despite being seen as favourites to return to power before the election.
Political pundits have been watching his party’s rise with curiosity, the elite section of society with surprise while its rivals are intrigued, he said, adding that BJP workers are full of self-pride but their satisfaction should not give way to complacency. “The BJP president has in a way sounded the bugle for the 2019 election. We will win the Karnataka polls tomorrow and have to prepare from today for the 2019 poll,” Hussain said.
The party would not be satisfied till it forms governments in states like Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, he said.
In the meeting, Shah also took stock of the organisational work and various targets the party had set for its state units and MPs and MLAs. He also voiced his anguish at the loss of lives due to adverse weather in different parts of country and asked the party’s local units to assist the people in need.
Trivedi said Shah also took feedback from leaders about various programmes the party had organised during its recent ‘gram swaraj’ campaign and also sought suggestions from them on celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Modi government.
The party also condemned the violence during panchayat polls in West Bengal and hit out at the Trinamool Congress government.