A day after tightly contested battle against Congress over one Rajya Sabha seat, BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday said in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections the opposition party would be reduced to half of its current strength in the House. He said the Assembly elections would be fought on the issues of Narmada Yojna and welfare of the OBCs and the poor.
Shah made the remarks in the Assembly while taking part in a proposal to complete the Narmada Yojana at the earliest. He later resigned as Naranpura MLA, hours after being declared elected to the Rajya Sabha in the wee hours of Wednesday along with party colleague and Union minister Smriti Irani and Congress’s Ahmed Patel. On the final day of the two-day Monsoon Session of the Assembly, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani moved a congratulatory resolution over Shah’s election to the Upper House.
Before resigning as MLA, Shah addressed the House for more than one hour, during which he recollected his 20-years in the Assembly from 1997 to 2017. He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under whom he built his political career, for a range of initiatives taken by the latter first as chief minister of Gujarat and then as Prime Minister. “These elections (upcoming Assembly elections) are going to be fought on the issue of Narmada. It has to be fought on the issue of welfare of OBCs and the poor. When the elections will be held, I know what results will come. This number (of the opposition Congress) will be reduced to half,” said Shah, pointing at the vacant benches of the Opposition in the House. The Congress MLAs were evicted from the Assembly by Speaker Ramanlal Vora following their protest over the recent stone-pelting on Rahul Gandhi’s car in Banaskantha.
The BJP chief accused Congress of stalling the development of Narmada Yojana and of being hand-in-glove with alleged anti-Narmada groups like Narmada Bachao Andolan of Medha Patkar. “Whenever Congress party comes to power, Narmada Yojana gets stalled. Even today, Congress party’s stand has remained anti-Narmada,” Shah said. Speaking for the welfare of OBCs, Shah said, “From 1995 to 2017, the backward class people of the country have been demanding constitutional validity (for OBC commission). Narendrabhai introduced a law to give constitutional status to OBC commission, but Congress opposed it and brought it down in Rajya Sabha.” “But, their opposition is not going to work for long… By April, NDA will get majority in Rajya Sabha also,” he said.
Expressing confidence of BJP winning Gujarat Assembly elections due in December, Shah said that the party has not lost any election, Vidhan Sabha or Lok Sabha, in the state since 1990. Before this, CM Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel and Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani also addressed the House to congratulate Shah. Rupani said, “This House has had many stars…And it will remember Amitbhai as a superstar.”