PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah at the BJP national executive meeting in New Delhi on Saturday | Shekhar yadav
NEW DELHI: Sounding the poll bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday tasked the party workers with twin challenges — expose the “falsehood of Mahagathbandhan (Opposition unity) and counter P Chidambaram & co with facts and figures”, and asserted that the NDA would seek another mandate on the basis of achievements of the Narendra Modi government.
In his inaugural address to the BJP national executive, Shah admitted that the semblance of Opposition unity and the economic narrative being pushed by the Opposition are key poll challenges for the BJP. “The BJP president has directed the party workers to expose dhakosla (falsehood) and bhranti (illusion) of the Mahagathbandhan. Also, the party workers have been asked to counter P Chidambaram & co with facts and figures (on the state of economy),” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Exuding confidence that the BJP would be able to retain power in 19 states with full majority, Shah sought to portray an image of “Ajey (invincible) BJP”, saying that the party is number two in West Bengal, Telangana and Odisha and would benefit from the anti-incumbency against the ruling parties in these states. The party already ruled over 70 per cent of India geographically, he pointed out.
Painting broad details of various Central schemes “touching lives of 50 crore people in the country”, Shah stressed that the campaign agenda would focus on the performance of the Modi government.
While the BJP was “Making India”, Shah said the Congress, which appears to be emerging as the fulcrum of Opposition unity, was in the company of whose who espouse “Breaking India”.
Invoking the legacy of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee whose images and videos dominated the venue of the national executive at the Ambedkar International Center in New Delhi, Shah argued that that the Opposition has embarked on the path of disruptive politics, as seen from the no-confidence motion which had been moved against the Modi government with no rationale.
Earlier in the day, Shah, while addressing the office bearers of the party, asserted that the Opposition was indulging in misinformation campaign against the amendments to the prevention of atrocities against SCs/STs, and urged party workers to counter the campaign.
Two heads, one goal
With organisational elections on hold for a year on account of the looming electoral challenges, Amit Shah will lead the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. His term as party chief was set to lapse in January.