Calling the 2019 Lok Sabha elections a battle of ideologies, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah Friday asserted that his party stood for cultural nationalism and development of poor. In his inaugural address at a party convention in New Delhi, Shah likened it to the third battle of Panipat between Marathas and the Afghans army, saying the election results will be equally significant for the country. “This is an example in history which matches with the situation today,” he said, asserting that it is a must for the party to win the polls.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several top party leaders were present at the convention. The two-day event is being held at Ramlila Maidan.
Taking a swipe at his rivals, Shah said the opposition’s grand alliance has no nationwide influence and that the BJP had defeated them all when it came to power in 2014. Modi and other top leaders of the party were on dais as he gave the party war cry to win the next polls, claiming that people like the BJP want a “majboot sarkar” (strong government) and the opposition wants a “majboor sarkar” (helpless government).
The BJP national president listed out party’s achievements and praised the work done under the leadership of Narendra Modi.
On the issue of the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the BJP leader said that the party was keen on building the temple but the Congress was delaying the process. He said, “BJP wants Ram Mandir to be constructed at the earliest. We are trying in the Supreme Court that the case reaches its conclusion but Congress here also is trying to create obstacles.”
He also expressed confidence in winning more Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh than they did in 2014. BJP had won 71 out 80 Lok Sabha seats from the state.
Shah also praised PM Modi for fulfilling his promise of providing jobs to the youth and for the bringing in the constitution amendment bill which will give 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the general category poor. In his speech, which lasted over an hour, Shah repeatedly emphasised the significance of the upcoming polls, stressed on a number of Modi government’s measures- especially those related to security, curbing corruption and welfare programmes- and hit out at the Congress for its dare to target Modi on the issue of graft when its president Rahul Gandhi is on bail in a “case of corruption”.
Referring to the passage of a bill in Parliament to give 10 per cent quota to the general category poor, Shah said the Modi government has “fulfilled” the dreams of crores of youths and described the constitution amendment bill as one of the most important legislations passed by Parliament.
Talking about the issue of National Registry of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, he said it was brought by the BJP government under Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to identify illegal migrants in India. He said, “NRC is a system to identify illegal migrants in India. In Assam alone, 40 lakh such migrants were identified in the first stage.”
Hailing the ‘Composition Plan’ that was announced at the GST Council Meeting two days back, Shah said that it is a big decision for millions of small businessmen and small industries. He said, “Traders who accept composition plan with turnover of up to 1.5 crore will have to pay only 1% tax.”