Senior BJP leader L K Advani Sunday heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “triple-century” debut — leading the NDA to 300-plus seats — in national politics as he exhorted his party’s first-time MPs to ensure the BJP’s return to power in 2019.
Advani was delivering the valedictory address on the second and concluding day of an orientation workshop organised by his party for the first-time MPs in Surajkund.
Likening Modi to a cricketer, Advani said: “In test cricket we have heard of players who score a century or a double century on their debut. But I do not know of any batsman who becomes a captain in the very first test he plays and scores a triple century.”
“Ever since we lost the election in 2004, my dream was to see that the BJP comes to power again. Narendra Modi has made this dream come true. I congratulate him for this.”
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, NDA bagged 336 seats while BJP on its own won a record 283 seats.
The veteran leader also credited RSS workers for the party’s triumph. “A huge army of hundreds of thousands of dedicated karyakartas, both of BJP and RSS, strived with single-minded determination for this victory.”
Advani advised the party MPs that “you should work towards becoming second-time MPs in order to bring BJP to power again in 2019”. “From day one, the entire party should recognise that the BJP should be in office at least for the next ten years.”
He also cautioned the MPs against Congress-bashing. “There is no need to talk much about the Congress party’s or UPA government’s failures. People are convinced about it, which is why they have given us absolute majority.”
All of us should rather talk about our government’s vision, its policies, plans and decisions, he said.
Underlining that the central government will be required to take certain hard decisions, especially on the economic front, he said they need to explain to the people as to why such decisions were necessary and how they will help the nation and the common people in the long run.
The BJP stalwart welcomed senior Congress leader A K Antony’s criticism of Congress’ policy on secularism.
“A K Antony’s plainspeak on Congress’s secularism has vindicated the BJP’s stand that secularism should mean ‘Justice for All, Appeasement of None, Discrimination against None’.”
At a recent conference in Kerala, Antony had said that Congress’s apparent proximity to minority communities had led people to doubt its secularism.
Advani also reminded the MPs that the minority community has voted for the BJP in some constituencies and urged them to “consolidate this positive change”.
The BJP veteran told MPs to individually realise Modi’s dream of making development a people’s movement.
“In the traditional way of governance, there has been a disconnect between the government machinery and the people in addressing all such development challenges. Which is why we are not getting the desired results even though the government spends considerable resources on each of these various issues. Therefore, Narendraji is right in insisting that development should become a people’s Movement,” Advani said.
Advani suggested that the Prime Minister should appeal to the people to strive to improve India’s ranking on the Human Development Index from the current 134 to 50 by the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence in 2022.
May 16 felt like Aug 16. 1947: Suresh Soni
RSS joint general secretary Suresh Soni, at the BJP’s orientation workshop for first-time party MPs in Surajkund Sunday, underlined the ideological commitments of the saffron parivar and compared May 16 — the day the Lok Sabha election results were declared — to August 16, 1947 when Britishers had left the country.
“May 16 (2014), when Congress was ousted from power, felt like the day when the Britishers were ousted by August 16, 1947,” a source said quoting Soni.