Day after the opposition unity show in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday ridiculed it, saying that it was a coming together of dynasties and corrupt people to form an alliance of corruption, scams, negativity and instability. He alleged that it was a coalition of money power whereas what the BJP has formed is one of “people’s power” and “their hearts”.
“They have made an alliance with each other, but we have made an alliance with the 125 crore people… Our alliance is with their dreams and ambitions. We are committed to them, live for them and work for them… Many of those on that dais were either sons of some big personality or trying to settle their son or daughter,” Modi said.
He was addressing BJP’s booth-level workers from Lok Sabha constituencies of Kolhapur, Hatkanangle, Madha and Satara in Maharashtra and South Goa via video conferencing on NaMo app.
“The difference between them and us is clear — at one side its money power, but we have people’s power… At one side are those who are trying to save their families or making them bigger. We are into making this country,” the Prime Minister said.
He took a swipe at the opposition’s Save Democracy slogan. “Parties which do not have even a single trace of democracy are making long speeches to mislead the people in this country on democracy,” he told the party workers in Maharashtra.
Responding to a question on how to counter the opposition parties’ attempts to come together against the BJP, he said the “matter of concern was that there was an attempt to take people for granted”. “They think the public are fools. This is very dangerous for the country,” Modi said.
He said the opposition was staring at defeat in the forthcoming elections and looking for excuses ahead of their impending loss. That is the reason why it is vilifying EVMs. He was referring to some opposition leaders’ demand that ballot papers should be used instead of EVMs as they were the source of “malpractices”.
“You must have seen that one of the leaders who was sharing the dais recalled the Bofors scam. Truth cannot be kept hidden. The opposition’s mahagathbandhan is an alliance of capitalists, corruption, scams, negativity and instability,” he said.
Modi lauded his government’s recent move to provide 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker section in the general category in jobs and educational institutions. According to him, the reaction of the opposition itself was proof that the decision was correct. “If our decision had no strength, then these people would not have had sleepless nights. They had to get down in the field to spread lies and rumours. This means we have done right work…,” he said.
He tried to allay concerns about lack of seats in educational institutes to accommodate the new quota provision. “I would like to assure that we will increase 10 per cent seats in every educational institution so that despite reservation, everyone will get an opportunity,” he said.
He denied that it was a decision taken keeping the Lok Sabha elections in mind. “When is the time we do not have election? If I did it before, they would have said I did it for the Karnataka elections, before that they would have said I did it to get benefit in Gujarat elections,” he said.
Before starting the interaction with the workers of Goa, Modi wished ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar a speedy recovery and called him the “architect of modern Goa”. “I would like to wish my good friend and Goa’s popular CM and architect of modern Goa, Manohar Parrikar, a speedy recovery. The way he has been working and his zeal towards work has been an inspiration for a party worker like me,” he said.
He asked the workers in Goa to be patient on the mining concerns. “This problem has been created following the Supreme Court verdict on mining. I understand that the concerns are of livelihood and we are consulting experts from this mining sector to understand a way forward. Please bear with us as we promise a solution in good time,” he said. “We are trying a lot of ways to resolve this issue.”
(With inputs from ENS, Panaji)