IN A scathing attack on Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday that those who “were a failure in government” have “also failed as Opposition”.
Addressing the BJP’s national executive, the Prime Minister targeted the “grand alliance” of the Opposition, saying that those who have no political or ideological understanding, who cannot even tolerate each other, are embracing each other. “That is the biggest indication of our success… because people have accepted our party, leadership and programmes,” Union Minister and senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad quoted Modi as saying.
Referring to Amit Shah’s speech at the event earlier, Prasad said that the BJP chief expressed confidence that the party will win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections because of its performance. “He said that no one can dethrone the BJP for the next 50 years,” Prasad said.
Briefing reporters on Modi’s speech, Prasad said: “The PM said there was no leadership in the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), their policies were unclear and intentions were corrupt. The PM said there was no ideology, leadership, coordination and similarity inside the mahagathbandhan.”
According to Prasad, Modi did not foresee any challenge for the BJP in 2019. “The PM said that in a democracy, the Opposition should exist… their questions and way of seeking accountability used to be a strength of democracy,” he said. Quoting from Modi’s speech, Prasad said: “But the problem is that those who were a failure in Government have also failed as Opposition. They never raised genuine issues.”
According to Prasad, Modi said that the BJP was ready to take on the Opposition on the question of ideology and the government’s work in 48 months. But in that case, Prasad quoted Modi as saying, questions will be asked also about the 48-year rule of one family.
Modi also accused the Opposition of “fighting on lies, speaking a new lie every day”, said Prasad. “The PM said that we are ready to fight on policies but we do not know how to fight with lies,” Prasad said.
The reference to “lies” appeared to indicate what the BJP feels is confusion being created by the Opposition on the SC/ST Act. According to BJP leaders, when the Supreme Court laid down stringent safeguards before registering a case under the Act, the Opposition supported Dalit organisations protesting against any change. However, after the Parliament retained the original provisions through a Bill, the BJP accused the Opposition of instigating protests by upper-caste groups.
“The Opposition may come united or separate but they should at least explain the grounds on which they will take on the BJP in the elections — ideology or work? We are ready to face the Opposition on every issue,” a release issued by the party quoted the PM as saying.
“The Opposition does not want to contest the election on the basis of ideology or the work of the government and does not have courage to contest on ethics. Hence, the Opposition has come to the level of politics of lies,” the release quoted Modi as saying.
According to Prasad, Modi asked party workers to respond strategically to falsehoods of the Opposition, and Congress in particular, with details of work and achievements of four years of the NDA government.
“The PM said that no one – even smaller parties — were ready to accept the leadership of the Congress, and that they think of the Congress leadership as a burden. He also said that the situation of not accepting the leadership of Congress existed within the party, too,” said Prasad.
According to Prasad, the PM also paid tributes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and came up with the slogan — “Ajeya Bharat, Atal BJP” (Unbeatable Nation, Firm Party).