Hours after he told his party MPs to brace for “below-the-belt attacks” from an Opposition “worried” over BJP gains as elections approach, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a fresh salvo Tuesday at party rivals, saying “all corrupt faces are coming together on one platform… because the BJP is waging a war against corruption.”
Addressing party leaders at the BJP headquarters where a new building was inaugurated, Modi called the BJP the only “pan-India party” and slammed the Opposition and “anti-India forces” for targeting and “defaming” Constitutional authorities and institutions.
In a veiled reference to Opposition allegations following the disqualification of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi after his conviction by a Surat court in a defamation case, the Prime Minister said, “Our Constitutional institutions are our foundation and, therefore, our very foundation is being targeted and defamed to stop the development of India. Conspiracies are being hatched to end the credibility of our institutions.”
“Today, this foundation is being attacked to stop India. When the agencies take action against those who are involved in corruption, the agencies are attacked. When the court gives a decision, the court is questioned. Some parties together have launched a campaign to save the corrupt,” he said.
Earlier in the day, while addressing BJP MPs at the parliamentary party meeting, Modi said the Opposition is “nervous” after the BJP’s impressive performance in the recent Assembly elections in the North-East states and Gujarat. Opposition attacks, he said, will become harsher as the party continues to gain ground.
At the BJP headquarters, he singled out the Congress for attack. “Congress leaders once used to say they will uproot the Jan Sangh and throw it away. Today’s Congress says ‘Modi, your grave will be dug’. Several attempts were made to destroy Jan Sangh and BJP, but they failed completely,” he said.
Under Congress rule, he said, the country witnessed corruption, “eating it like termites” and “actions against corruption were farcical”. But India, he said, has seen how action has been taken against corruption in the last nine years of BJP rule. “In the last nine years, the BJP ran a campaign against corruption, which has rattled the corrupt. Whenever BJP comes to power, it deals a big blow to corruption,” he said.
Recalling the party’s track record, the Prime Minister said while the UPA government attached properties worth Rs 5000 crore between 2004 and 2014, the BJP government attached assets worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore in the last nine years. He said more than double the number of cases were registered and 15 times more arrests took place.
He praised BJP’s growth into the world’s largest political party. “Across the length and breadth of India, the BJP is the only pan-India political party. Unlike family-run political parties, the BJP is a political party which gives opportunities to the youth. We are the party that has the blessings of the women of India. Today, BJP governments are becoming synonymous with aspirations, development and progress. The BJP is a brand of governance,” he said.
According to Modi, the BJP is not a party that is limited to contesting and winning elections but is a system, an idea, an organisation and a movement. “Today, the BJP is not only the largest party of the world, but it is the most futuristic party. We have only one goal: To build a modern and developed India of the future,” he said.
He also said the Congress’s massive victory in 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination was because of an “emotionally charged atmosphere” and the BJP was “wiped out in that storm” but it did not lose hope and worked on the ground to strengthen the organisation.
He told party leaders that their “fight is not easy” since they have to fight “corruption, casteism, communalism, anti-India forces and their ecosystem”, challenges which will “pester the country” for a long time. With the BJP working for a fully developed India by 2047, the struggle, he said, is going to be long.