NEW DELHI: Upbeat over the BJP's win in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked party MPs not to get distracted by Rahul Gandhi questioning his (Modi's) credibility and told them to strengthen the organisation at the grassroots by promoting young leaders for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Addressing the BJP Parliamentary group here in which he dedicated the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly election victories to the people of the two states, Modi turned emotional and said the party has beaten Indira Gandhi's record by bagging power in 19 states -- one more than what the Congress achieved under her.
"We are now ruling 19 states," Modi told the meeting.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters that the Prime Minister urged the BJP MPs to focus their energies on strengthening the party at grassroots level across the country for the next general election.
In his message to the party's booth level workers, he asked them not to be "distracted by what the opposition is raking up on credibility, rumours and the misinformation and the low-level comments they are making" against the BJP, Ananth Kumar quoted Modi as saying in the meeting.
"Modi called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country. He said the work at the booth level is most important, beside people's blessings to the party, for creating a wave in its favour."
Modi recalled how the party was built in Gujarat and young leaders were promoted by seniors, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Modi asserted that Gujarat was a "big victory" for the BJP, dismissing Congress President Rahul Gandhi's remarks that the election verdict in the Prime Minister's home state was a "massive jolt" to his party.
Gandhi on Tuesday also said that Modi's campaigning in Gujarat had raised questions over his credibility.
BJP President Amit Shah, who was also present in the meeting, mocked at the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a "laughable exercise" for a party "to see victory in defeat".