Modi Sheds Tears, BJP Men Choke
NEW DELHI: Three-time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had begun his electoral campaign with a war cry after being nominated as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate last year. But on Tuesday, he started his journey as the country’s 14 Prime Minister with a choked voice.
In his acceptance speech delivered after being elected as leader of the BJP Parliamentary party, Modi talked about the “hopes and aspirations” from his government and “dedicated” it to the poor and downtrodden.
But, his emotional outburst became the high point of the day, which also left many party MPs teary-eyed.
Earlier a weeping L K Advani hugged Modi and said the latter had done a “kripa” (favour) by helping BJP get this mandate. He also thanked Modi for enabling them to witness this day. In turn, Modi asked the party patriarch to not use the word kripa.
He said, “I would request you (Advani) to never use the word kripa. Can serving the mother be a favour? A son is only dedicated to serve the mother. As India is my mother, so even the BJP is like mother to me. The favour has been done by the party.”
Modi’s entry into the Parliament, which he called the “temple of democracy” was dramatic. He bent down to kiss the steps of the House, before entering the Central Hall. Modi, dressed in a dark yellow kurta and matching jacket, was seated along with Advani and party president Rajanth Singh, who initiated the proceedings. Modi’s name was proposed by Advani, and other leaders, including Murali Manohar Joshi, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley seconded it.
“Now I can say yes he will,” said Rajnath after announcing the decision. Modi had used the slogan “Yes, we can” at a few of his rallies.
‘Govt Will Dedicate Itself to Poor’
Later, the 29 NDA allies also felicitated Modi. During his speech, Modi referred to his humble background and said it was an ode to Indian democracy and its founding fathers that he was standing there.
“The new government will dedicate itself for the poor, crore and crore of youth and for the safety and security of the mothers and sisters, those in the rural areas, oppressed and the deprived,” he said.
“By giving BJP an absolute majority they have voted for hope and trust. People have voted for hope and faith. I will do everything to fulfil their aspirations,” Modi said adding that he was an eternal optimist.
He said that he would meet them again to present the status report of his work at the end of his tenure in 2019.
Remembering former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi said it would have been an icing on the cake had the ailing leader been present among them on Tuesday.
Reiterating his slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” Modi said his government and party would celebrate ideologue Deen Dyal Upadhaya’s birth centenary next year.
Modi asked party MPs to work with all purity, not for designations, but for the people of the country.
BJP Chief Ministers Raman Singh, Vasundhra Raje, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Manohar Parrikar and Modi’s close confidant Amit Shah were among those present on the occasion.
Several newly elected party MPs, who were dressed in saffron, were seen touching his feet and seeking his blessings.