Wanting the country to be “Congress-free”, new BJP chief Amit Shah today said Congress culture needs to be replaced by that of his party whose foremost priority is to win the upcoming assembly elections in four states with big majority.
“For long Congress ‘vichar’ (thought) has been pre-dominant in the country’s politics. Now it is time to ensure that our ‘vichar’ (thought) has an imprint on nation’s politics,” said Shah, the architect of saffron victory in crucial Uttar Pradesh with 73 out of 80 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing the party’s day-long National Council meeting here that ratified his appointment as BJP president, Shah also targeted leaders of other parties, including Nitish Kumar of JD(U) and Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and said it was necessary that the party should capture power in these two states as well.
In a pep talk to his party cadres, he said BJP should strive to form governments even in states like Andhra Pradesh for which the party cadres should expand the BJP’s reach throughout the country.
“The country is yet to be rid of Congress. The cadres should keep this in mind…. Assembly elections are coming in four states of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
“We need to ensure that we get absolute majority in all these states. This is our foremost priority. But our long-term objective is to provide good governance to the entire country,” he told the conclave attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders like L K Advani, M M Joshi and outgoing party chief Rajnath Singh.
He underlined that the party would not be in government for long unless its reach is expanded and exhorted all the ministers to work for implementation of the party manifesto.
Expressing happiness over the fact that Congress was not able to open its accounts in 14 seats in the general elections, he said the party even lost the right to get the status of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Declaring that the Modi government will ensure good governance at the Centre, Shah exhorted partymen to commit themselves to the challenging task of winning the assembly polls in four states by reaching out to people with the strength of well-knit organization and good governance model in various states and the Centre.
Singling out Haryana, the BJP chief said one remembers “land scams” and “some faces” when the mention of the state comes.
“There is a need to change the government in the state.
We should see that BJP alone gets the majority,” he said, adding any possibility of alliance would be seen later.
“Even if there is an alliance, BJP on its own should have more than 45 (out of total 90),” Shah said. Talking about Jammu and Kashmir, he said the government in the “very sensitive state” had crossed “all limits of corruption” and people want a change there.
Asking cadres from across the country to focus on the assembly election in the state that is due later this year, he said, “the state will see development only when BJP government is formed there.”
In an apparent reference to Nehru-Gandhi family and Abdullah family, Shah said, “the two families have ensured that money does not reach the poor. We have to highlight this.”
He complimented the Team Modi for keeping the strong foundation and giving a solid roadmap in the last 75 days to lead the nation in the coming times.
Turning to UP, Shah said the law and order situation in the state is a matter of “serious concern” because of “biased” attitude of the Akhilesh Yadav government.
He alleged that law and order in the state is decided on the basis of “religion”.
Noting that BJP has 73 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Shah said the party has “greater responsibility” than the state government in ensuring peace in the state.
“We have to exercise restraint. But we have to spread awareness about the vote-bank and appeasement policy being followed by the state government,” the party chief said.
Talking about Bihar where the party was ruling in alliance with JD(U) before they split last year, he slammed JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar for allying with Lalu Prasad-led RJD.
“Nitish came to power by saying he was fighting against ‘jungle raj’ of Lalu Prasad. Now he has gone and sat in the lap of same Lalu without any hesitation.. There is no shame.
In politics, principles matter more than numbers.. We need to expose this immoral alliance,” he said.
In the next assembly elections, he said, BJP should work o get the majority on its own in all these states.
“We will give you support but effort is yours,” he said.
Shah credited the “twin” leadership of Narendra Modi and outgoing party chief Rajnath Singh for the spectacular success of the party in Lok Sabha elections.
Significantly, he did not name any of the party s allies including its oldest ideological ally the Shiv Sena, while telling partymen that there will be a BJP-led government both in Maharashtra as well as in Haryana.
He said that the unprecedented victory for the party has also brought a challenge before it indicating that the politics of the future could be “BJP versus others”, like the earlier years when it was “Congress versus others”.
“The Congress ideology has influenced us all these years. Time has come when our ideology needs to be spread. In 2014, the party is going to take a new direction,” he said, adding that a Congress-free India can become a reality only if we ensure the BJP s victory in every part of the country.
Shah told party workers that the party s victory marks the beginning of the end of the Congress era and lauded Modi as a leader in post-independence generation who has established himself as a harbinger of the golden era of good governance .
“The verdict of this election is a clear rejection of the politics of dynasty, appeasement and vote bank. It also is an undisputed triumph of the hope and aspirations of the people of India,” he said reminding that BJP is the only non-Congress party to have come to power at the centre with an absolute majority of its own.
Good governance, he said, can be delivered only by ideology-inspired leadership.
“As we all know, ideological commitment has gone a long way in making our Prime Minister and all our Chief Ministers enviable icons of good governance. Let us resolve to march ahead as torch-bearers of our ideology,” he said.
He wanted the party to contest polls at all levels as it helps in reaching out to people and asked the party workers to inculcate the “habit of winning”.
In an hour-long presidential address, Shah said the need of the hour is to strengthen both the organization as well as the government and any laxity on one front will affect the other.
He said with BJP coming to power on its own at the Centre, the role of the party has changed and “so our mindset should also change and the party should act as a bridge between the people and the government”.
He recalled the words of late RSS chief Guru Golwalkar that “if we work together with all our strength, it is victory all the way”.
Noting that the party has to gain strength in several states including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala, he said the party could not convert its votes into seats in many such states due to the weak organization.