BJP, Opposition draw battle lines for 2019 Parliament Election

The prospects of an emerging Opposition unity in the 2019 general elections seem to have set the tone for the fourth-anniversary blitzkrieg of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Published: 27th May 2018 02:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2018 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi being felicitated by BJP leaders on Jana Kalyan Samabesh at Baliyatra ground in Cuttack on Saturday. | Express Photo Services

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The prospects of an emerging Opposition unity in the 2019 general elections seem to have set the tone for the fourth-anniversary blitzkrieg of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch a frontal attack on the Opposition. 

Addressing a rally in Cuttack on Saturday, Modi mocked the new-found bonhomie among the Opposition parties saying it’s akin to corrupt leaders coming together to protect their vested interests.

In a veiled reference to the twin power centres during the UPA rule, Modi said he’s running his government on ‘Janmat’ (people’s mandate) and not from Janpath (10 Janpath, Sonia Gandhi’s official residence).

In New Delhi, BJP chief Amit Shah said the next Lok Sabha polls would be a contest between Modi’s efforts to eliminate poverty and corruption and the Opposition’s single-point agenda of removing Modi from power. 

BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who is recuperating following a kidney transplant, in a blog termed the opposition unit “an anarchist formation”. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition launched a multi-pronged attack on the Modi government alleging it failed to fulfil its promises. Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted to share his version of a “report card” on Modi government, saying the Prime Minister failed miserably on agriculture, foreign policy, fuel prices, job creation, and many other crucial areas. 

In Cuttack, Modi took a potshot at the Opposition unity saying some of the leaders have flocked to the platform after being pursued for corruption cases. He noted that four former chief ministers are behind the bars after being convicted in corruption cases. Clearly, the common theme running in Modi’s Cuttack speech, Shah’s presser in Delhi and Jaitely’s blog was to pitch the anti-corruption plank for the ruling BJP and raise it as a counter against the Opposition parties closing ranks in the run-up to the 2019 polls. 

NDA’s performance is solid: Modi

Modi claimed the fact that his party is in power in 20 states shows that people have endorsed NDA’s performance in the past four years. He said his government’s fight against corruption has sent “shivers down the spines” of corrupt parties.

Congress hits back

The Congress described the four years of the BJP government at the Centre as one of “treachery, trickery, revenge and lies”, while the Left parties, the SP and BSP said all sections of the society suffered due its “failures”

One more year for achche din: Shah

On the ‘achche din’ (good days) promised by the BJP-led ruling alliance when it came to power, Amit Shah said the government has done a lot to fulfil its promises in four years and one year is still left.

He claimed Modi is the “most popular and most hardworking Prime Minister with unending energy”, who banished the UPA’s policy paralysis.

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