Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior leader LK Advani during BJP National Executive Meeting, in New Delhi.(PTI)
New Delhi, September 8 (IANS) With the party deciding to fight the next Lok Sabha elections under his leadership, BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday hit out at opposition plans for a grand alliance, saying his party was not in the least bothered about it calling it an “eyewash”.
In his inaugural speech at the two-day National Executive of the BJP, he accused the Congress of aligning with forces that want to “break” India while his party was focussed on “making” India.
He gave the message that the party was keen to win the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to which list has been added Telangana, where the Assembly has been dissolved.
“The talk of mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) is eyewash based on falsehood. It is not going to make any difference in 2019 because we have fought against each and every opposition party in 2014. We are not bothered about it,” Shah was quoted as saying by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who briefed the media on the presidential speech.
Shah urged party workers not to be complacent because of the continuous electoral successes since 2014 and to reach out to the people with a clear-cut message that BJP was not at all worried about the opposition ganging up against the party.
Shah said the party was in power already in 19 states where it was sure of doing well in the Lok Sabha elections.
“West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana and other states where the BJP was in second position in 2014, we need to take advantage of anti-incumbency there. We will also perform better in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Shah said the BJP would contest the next Lok Sabha polls on the plank of its performance and organisational strength and form a government with a bigger mandate than in 2014.
Attacking former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his critical comments on Friday against the Modi government’s performance, Shah said “Manmohan Singh follows his party, while Modi leads. That is the difference.”
Referring to various issues including the “backlash” from upper castes on the recent amendment to the SC-ST law, Shah dubbed all the allegations by the opposition as “baseless”.
“While Make in India is not a mere campaign but a movement for building the country, Congress is running a campaign of breaking India. Congress has identified itself with breaking groups,” he said.
The BJP President also hit out at former Finance Minister P Chidambaram for being critical of the economic achievements of the government. He asked the party cadres to apprise themselves of the facts on economy and challenge “PC and his company” on the issue.
He listed the achievements of the government on the economic front and said whatever good work done by the government including the yet-to-be launched Ayushman Bharat scheme, inreased MSP for farmers and constitutional status for the Backward Classes Commission should be taken to the people.
Shah picked on the urban naxal issue in the context of the recent arrest of alleged Maoist sympathisers and said the Congress was raking up the issue for its vote bank politics. He hailed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the police action against urban naxals.
Dealing with the controversial issue of National Register of Citizens, he said the BJP would move forward with strong determination to implement it. Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Jains in neighbouring countries who seek refugee status will be given shelter without hesitation.
Referring to the triple talaq issue, he said even many Islamic countries have cleared legislations on the subject and was not an issue there. “But here due to the hypocritical stand of the Congress, the bill is stuck in Rajya Sabha. We want to get this bill passed.”
Earlier, the meeting deferred organisational elections till after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which will enable Shah to continue in the top post and lead the party in the general elections.
BJP extends Amit Shah’s tenure
New Delhi, September 8 (IANS) the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday decided to defer its organisational elections to pave the way for Amit Shah to continue as President until the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Organisational elections are a vast exercise and it takes time too. All the workers get involved in it. So, a discussion is going on to defer the organisational polls until the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are completed,” West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh told reporters here at the sidelines of two-day National Executive meet.
Sources said that the issue was discussed at the office bearers, state BJP chiefs and General Secretary (Organisation) of the states meeting held under the chairmanship of Shah and a resolution, in this regard, will be passed by the National Executive.
The office bearers meeting takes place before inauguration of the National Executive to set its agenda.
According to the party constitution, any eligible member can hold the post of President for two-consecutive terms of three-years each.
Shah was elected unopposed as the party president on January 24, 2016, for a second term, this time for a full tenure of three years. He had earlier completed Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s interrupted tenure as President from July 2014. His second term will end on January 26, 2019.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Shah was incharge of Uttar Pradesh where the BJP won 73 out of total 80 seats. After Rajnath Singh became Home Minister in the Narendra Modi government, Shah was apoointed BJP President in July 2014.
Briefing reporters about the office bearers meeting, BJP Secretary Rahul Sinha quoted Shah as saying that the party will contest the 2019 polls on the performance of the Modi government and strength of organisation.
“The opposition parties are trying to spread confusion among the people but they will not succeed. We will win 2019 Lok Sabha polls with a bigger margin,” Sinha said.
He said there are 22 crore beneficiaries of the central government’s schemes and it has been decided that 9 crore party workers will reach out to them.
“Their (workers) responsibility would be to take these beneficiaries to the polling centres,” Sinha said, adding that party’s booth level workers has been given responsibility to take voters out from their houses to polling centres.
Prime Minister Modi will address the National Executive on Sunday afternoon.