Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned emotional on Wednesday as he addressed the BJP parliamentary meeting for the first time after the saffron party won a sixth straight-term in Gujarat and wrested power from Congress in Himachal Pradesh after a bitterly fought campaign in the states.
Addressing the workers, Modi also congratulated them for their performance in the elections. He also said that Congress under Indira Gandhi got to rule 18 states but the BJP and its allies were in power in 19 states as of now, reported PTI. No party in power at the Centre had done this well in elections across the country in over three years of tenure as the BJP had done, he said, referring to its winning streak in Assembly elections. He also asked the leaders not to be affected by the opposition’s “disinformation campaign.”
The Congress party, led by president Rahul Gandhi had called the Gujarat results as a a “moral victory” for them. Asserting that the party has won its biggest tally since 1985 polls by winning 77 seats while the BJP with 99 seats got its lowest since 1990, Rahul Gandhi had said that the Gujarat polls were a “massive jolt to the BJP.” Saffron party Chief Amit Shah, however, dismissed the claims as a “laughable exercise.”
Prime Minister Modi was also seen holding back his tears at least three times as he recounted the struggle and sacrifices made by the party workers and leaders to win people’s support. He also recounted how in his initial days in politics, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had congratulated him in person after the party fared well in a Lok Sabha election from Gujarat. Adding that Modi was not well known in BJP-RSS cirles at that time, he noted that it was Vajpayee’s magnanimity to reach out to him.
Modi broke into tears as he recalled the work of Makrand Desai, Arvind Maniyar and Vasantrao Gajendragadkar among others in building the party, known as Jana Sangh in its earlier avatar, in Gujarat, the sources said.
PM Modi also referred to his relationship with the party chief Amit Shah and spoke about how he groomed Shah, 14 years younger to him. Seeking the promotion of young leaders at every level in the organisation, Modi asked them to be connected with party work, social work and for building the nation.
(With PTI inputs)