Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and party chief Amit Shah at the BJP National Executive Meeting in New Delhi. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)
Calling the Opposition “disruptionist”, its grand alliance against the BJP an “eyewash” and accusing the Congress of indulging in “breaking India”, BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday asked senior party cadres from across the country to highlight the BJP government’s achievements of the last four years to counter Opposition parties for the 2019 elections.
Speaking at a closed-door meeting at the party’s national executive in Delhi, Shah asserted that the “fragrance” of the BJP’s governance and the “charisma” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi would help the party return to power with an even bigger majority after the 2019 elections.
Repeated references in Shah’s speech to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections indicated that the BJP may not be looking at advancing election dates.
Briefing the media, senior BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The BJP president said that the mahagathbandhan is a dhakosla (eye-wash), bhranti (mirage) and based on falsehood. He reminded cadres that the party had, in 2014, won against each of the parties that were now attempting to form the mahagathbandhan and therefore, they should expose the falsehood of this coalition.”
Sitharaman said Shah invoked the BJP’s victory against the Opposition’s no-confidence motion during the Monsoon Session of Parliament as an example of the Opposition’s “disruptionist” nature. “The no-confidence motion is used either when the government has lost the majority or there is worry about the government in public at large. Neither of the conditions was there. Still, we accepted the motion without any hesitation and defeated it. This made the Opposition’s disruptionist stance very clear,” Sitharaman quoted Shah as telling party leaders.
“While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making India, the Congress is breaking India. Congress identifies itself with those who are keen to break up India,” Shah was quoted as having said while asking cadres to puncture the Congress’s claim to be the anchor of the mahagathbandhan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) and BJP senior leader LK Advani (right) and party chief Amit Shah at BJP National Executive Meeting in New Delhi. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)
Shah also came out in support of the Maharashtra police’s recent arrest of activists. “On the issue of Urban Naxals, the BJP president congratulated the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra Chief Minister, who was sitting in the audience,” Sitharaman said.
“Those who have been arrested, there are serious charges against them of procuring arms to destabilise the country, extending financial help to Naxalites and hatching a conspiracy for assassination of the Prime Minister. But, the Opposition is shamelessly standing with those who worked against the nation,” Sitharaman said, quoting Shah.
Earlier in the day, the party’s office bearers decided to postpone the organisational elections till after the Lok Sabha elections next year. This effectively means that Shah will head the party during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Shah’s current term was to have expired early next year, before the elections.
The BJP president listed out the government “achievements”, among them hike in MSP of crops, the National Health Protection Scheme for over 10 crore households, constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes, action against black money, and India’s rising economic status among major countries.
“The fragrance of governance is spreading everywhere. In addition, we have the charisma of our leadership (Narendra Modi). This will help us in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Sitharaman quoted Shah as having said while adding, “While Manmohan Singh followed his party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads his party”.
Stepping up the attack on the Congress, Shah is said to have told party cadres, “P Chidambaram and company should be challenged with facts in your hands about our achievements on the economy, GDP, GST etc”. “The performance of our government since 2014”, he told them, should be “the base of our pitch for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections”.
On the party’s preparations for the upcoming elections, Shah asserted that the BJP would form governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana, and that the party would win in those states too where it presently stands at the Number 2 position. He said the party would soon hold meetings for workers in Mizoram.
The national executive meeting, held at the Ambedkar International Centre, began with Shah paying floral tributes at the statue of Ambedkar inside the campus.
with the Express Morning Briefing