BJP leader Narendra Modi on Saturday called on President Ram Nath Kovind and staked his claim to form the next government. Exercising powers vested in him under Article 75 (1) of the Constitution of India, the President appointed Modi to the office of Prime Minister. Sources indicated that the swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place on May 30 but an official confirmation is awaited.
“President today gave me a letter designating me as the Prime Minister. The country has given me a huge mandate and the mandate comes with the expectations of the people,” Modi said after meeting Kovind.
Earlier, an NDA delegation, led by Amit Shah and comprising Prakash Singh Badal, Rajnath Singh, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Sushma Swaraj, Uddhav Thackeray, Nitin Gadkari, K. Palaniswami, Conrad Sangma and Neiphiu Rio, called on the President and submitted to him a letter stating that Narendra Modi had been elected leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party.
Before reaching the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) elected Modi as their leader at the parliamentary board meeting after the BJP’s historic win in the Lok Sabha elections.
In his over 75-minute address after being elected the leader of the NDA, Modi stressed on the need to win over the trust of minorities, spoke extensively on the BJP’s second consecutive victory, pro-incumbency, the Lok Sabha elections, and also cautioned the newly-elected members against taking favours. He invoked the spirit of the 1857 freedom struggle, saying all communities had then joined hands for independence and a similar movement should be started for good governance now.
Narendra Modi on minorities
Urging the newly-elected MPs to work without any discrimination, Modi said that minorities, in the past, have been “deceived and made to live in fear by those who believed in vote-bank politics.” In his attack at the opposition, Modi said that instead of fear-mongering, education and health of the minorities should have been the concern of political leaders.
“In 2019, I urge you, we have to end this deception, we have to win their trust,” he said.
PM Modi unanimously elected as leader of BJP parliamentary party LIVE updates
Narendra Modi on Lok Sabha elections
Speaking to NDA MPs of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said the 2019 elections was an exercise to unite people and break down the walls that divide us.
“It is said that politics creates walls, differences, but the 2019 election has broken down those walls. This election has worked to unite people. It was an exercise at social unity,” he said.
Comparing the elections to a spiritual journey, Modi said it felt like a pilgrimage to him. “I have seen many obstacles in life. I have contested many elections, won and lost too, but the 2019 election has been to me a sort of a pilgrimage,” he said.
Narendra Modi on BJP’s second term
Speaking on the achievements of his government’s tenure since 2014, Modi attributed the BJP’s second term in power to the “faith (of people) that resulted in a pro-incumbency wave.”
The BJP emerged a clear winner in the general elections, bagging 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, the BJP had 282 seats. “This election was an election for positive votes. The government has been elected again, given more responsibility.”
“From 2014 to 2019, the poor in the country have run the government. I say it with utmost contentment today that this new government has also been formed by the poor,” he further said, adding that neither their status, nor the Modi brand brought the party to power again, but the people and their mandate.
Narendra Modi on NDA support
Expressing his gratitude to the allies of the BJP, Modi said all are equals in the NDA and all will embark together on a new journey together to aspire for a new India with fresh energy. “You all have elected me as the leader, I think of it as a part of the system, I’m one of you, equal to you,” he said.
The soon-to-be Prime Minister also took blessings of BJP veterans Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani and bowed down before the Constitution of India.
“I’m talking to you after bowing before the constitution, there can not be a ‘bhed-rekha’ for a people’s representative. We are for those who were with us, we are also for those who will be with us,” he said. Congratulating the newly-elected MPs, Modi said, “You all deserve greetings but those elected for the first time deserve an even bigger one. I offer all of you my greetings.”
Modi’s word of caution for new MPs
Modi also gave several directions to the MPs, urging them to avoid giving media statements merely for publicity and shun the “VIP culture”. Asking the MPs to exercise restraint in speaking to media, Modi said some statements made for publicity have often caused troubles for the party.
“Media ke logo ko bhi pata hota hai ki 6 namune hain, vaha subah pahoch jayo, gate ke bahar khade raho, nikal ke kuchh to bolega (Media also knows there are six foolish people. Arrive at their places in the morning, stand outside the door and expect (the leaders) will certainly say something).
#WATCH PM Narendra Modi addressing NDA Parliamentary meet says, “Media ke logo ko bhi pata hota hai ki 6 namune hain, vaha subah pahoch jayo, gate ke bahar khade raho, nikal ke kuchh to bolega.” pic.twitter.com/dTtzu9uz6M
— ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2019
Narendra Modi on NDA’s new slogan
Modi called for the NDA to work in cohesion for the country’s development and said his “naara” (slogan) for the alliance is “national ambition and regional aspirations”.
Our mantra now is ‘Sabka sath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’, he said.
With speculation rife over who will join his Council of Ministers, Modi said he was yet to go through details of all the NDA MPs and asked them to not trust media reports in this regard, adding they are aimed at creating confusion and often put out with “bad intentions”. Responsibilities will be given as per norms, he said.
Narendra Modi elected PM unanimously at NDA parliamentary meet
At the NDA parliamentary meet today, BJP president Amit Shah thanked the allies for choosing Modi as the next Prime Minister of the country. “Modi is elected the leader of the parliamentary party of 353 MPs unanimously,” Shah announced as Modi acknowledged the support and cheers from MPs.
Shah proposed Modi’s name and former party presidents Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari seconded the proposal. Modi’s election was a mere formality as the NDA had already declared him the alliance’s prime ministerial candidate.
Meanwhile, the Congress which could only increase its tally to 52 from 44 in 2014 convened a meeting of the party working committee in which party chief Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign was unanimously rejected.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines