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Poll win underlines New India, says PM Modi; Poor want leg-up, not handout

The Prime Minister set 2022 as the target year for bringing in this New India. “I don’t live by election calculations. My target is 2022, not 2019. 2022 will mark 75 years of India’s Independence."

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
March 13, 2017 4:53:55 am
uttar pradesh, uttarakhand, election results 2017, PM narendra Modi, bjp, india news PM Narendra Modi on a victory march to the BJP office in New Delhi on Sunday. Neeraj Priyadarshi

A day after the BJP’s spectacular victories in the recently held elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the results in the five states indicated the emergence of “a new India”, where poor were not seeking sops but asking for opportunities to grow. “A New India is on the horizon. I am seeing the election results in the five states as foundation for a New India — a New India of the dreams of 65 per cent population of under-35 youths and of uniquely aware women groups. A new India in which the poor are looking for an opportunity to do something instead of seeking something is a new change,” the PM said, in his victory speech at the BJP headquarters here.

The Prime Minister set 2022 as the target year for bringing in this New India. “I don’t live by election calculations. My target is 2022, not 2019. 2022 will mark 75 years of India’s Independence. We have five years to contribute to change India,” said Modi.

Earlier, Modi put out an appeal on the Narendra Modi app for people to take a pledge and join him in building a New India by 2022. “India is transforming, powered by the strength of each and every citizen of India; an India that is driven by innovation, hard work and creativity; an India characterised by peace, unity and brotherhood; and an India free from corruption, terrorism, black money and dirt. Together, let us build the India of our dreams so that when we mark 75 years of freedom in 2022, we have an India that will make Gandhiji, Sardar Patel and Babasaheb Ambedkar proud,” the appeal said.

Addressing the concerns of the middle class in his speech to party workers, Modi linked the same to empowerment of the poor. “If the power of the poor and dreams of the middle-class are put together, nobody can stop the nation from going to the peak of growth. Sometimes people from the middle class have to bear more burden. They have to pay taxes, follow rules and social norms. The middle class bears the burden of the economy more and this burden on them should come down. Once the poor in the country get the strength to bear the burden, the burden of the middle class will come down,” the PM said.

“The poor of the nation has left the mentality of liking somebody only because he has been given something. The poor wants to progress by the dint of their hard labour. He says you create an opportunity for me, I will work hard and grow,” he said.

Modi urged party workers to be humble in success, drawing the analogy of a tree that bends when fruits grow on it. “Aaj jab BJP ke is vatvriksha par vijay rupi phal lage hain to BJP ka sabse jyada jhukne ka jimma banta hai, adhik namra banne ka jimma banta hai (Now when there are fruits of victory on this tree of the BJP, then it has an even greater responsibility to bend, to be more humble)… Power is an opportunity to serve,” he said.

Reiterating what he said during the release of the BJP’s vision document ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections which, according to him, drew criticism, Modi said, “We are new… we may make mistakes, but our intent will never be wrong. Two, we will work the hardest and whatever we do, we will do with credibility.” The PM said that the BJP had fought the election on the development plank, which was not easy. “Elections on emotional issues have been witnessed in this country, even waves and its impact on elections have been seen. However minus any emotional issue, development is a poll plank… All political parties have been avoiding taking up this issue.”

Modi also promised that the party’s governments would work for all sections. “Governments are formed by majority, but run with consensus… BJP ki sarkar jinhone vote diya unki bhi hai, jinhone vote nahin diya unki bhi hai. Unki bhi hai jo saath chale, unki bhi hai jo saamne rahe (The BJP’s government is for those who voted for it and also those who did not. For those who walked along with us, and those who faced us),” he said. “The government has no right to discriminate nor does the BJP endorse any such right.”

Showering praises on BJP president Amit Shah and his team for the hard work behind the party’s growing presence, Modi said “political pundits were forced to anlayse the unimaginable voter turnout and the unimaginable majority”. About himself, Modi said, “I am happy to be the kind of Prime Minister who is asked ‘Itna kaam kyun karte ho (Why do you work so much)?’.”

Pointing out that the BJP had become “the largest political party in the world”, Modi said, “We must be proud to be associated with the biggest democratic party in the world. This is a golden era for the BJP.” Ahead of Sunday’s celebrations, the party headquarters was adorned with cutouts of Modi and Shah. As Modi arrived at the office after a short “victory march” — cheered on by workers and supporters who lined both sides of the road — he was greeted with chants of “Modi, Modi” and “Jai Shri Ram”. Those hailing him included leaders of the BJP parliamentary board.

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