Mumbai, Apr 6 (PTI) BJP president Amit Shah today asserted that the party’s golden period will begin only when it wins West Bengal and Odisha and retains power at the Centre in 2019.

He also ruled out any possibility of the Lok Sabha election being advanced or the Maharashtra polls being held along with it.

He was addressing the BJP workers from Maharashtra to mark the 38th Foundation Day of the party at a venue in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, where the party’s first rally was held after its inception in 1980.

Shah said, “Under the leadership of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, the BJP rules 70 per cent of the country with 20 states and more than 1,600 (state) legislators and 330 MPs.

“Our golden period will come when we win Bengal and Odisha and retain power under the leadership of Narendra Modi in 2019 with a full majority,” he said.

Shah added that with 11 crore workers, the BJP was the single largest political party in the world.

“The last 38 years were not without difficulties and struggle. Success could be achieved because of our workers, who are the real owners of the party, unlike other parties which are led by mother-son and father-son pairs,” he said, taking a dig at the Congress and other opposition parties.

The Modi government was running a poor-friendly and farmer-friendly regime, the BJP chief added.

“LPG, cleanliness (campaign), electricity, health insurance schemes for the poor have been implemented well. We will double the income of farmers with good prices for their produce, as mentioned in the Swaminathan Committee report,” he said.

During the UPA rule, Pakistan had violated the ceasefire, killed Indian soldiers and the government did nothing, he said.

“But when the Uri terror attack happened, within 10 days, the Modi government ordered the surgical strikes and avenged the attack. With the surgical strikes, the attitude of the world towards India changed,” Shah said.

Claiming that Modi was the most popular leader in the world, he, however, said the 2019 general election will not be fought over Modi’s persona, but on his work as the prime minister.

Later, addressing a press conference, Shah said the BJP’s ideology was accepted by the people as the party had seen massive electoral successes since 2014.

“What is the loss of two by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, when the party won landslide victories in Tripura and other Assembly polls held at the same time?” he asked.

The Modi government and the BJP regimes in various states have set an example of transparency and that is the reason the party is doing well at the hustings, Shah said.

From April 14 to May 5, the leaders and workers of the party will reach out to the people across 20,000 villages, creating awareness about the Modi government’s policies and programmes, he said.

The BJP chief criticised the Opposition for disruptions in Parliament and said the saffron party will stage a day-long fast across the country to protest their tactics.

Prime Minister Modi’s leadership is the BJP’s biggest plus point, he said.

Shah said the Lok Sabha election will not be advanced. He also replied in the negative asked whether the Maharashtra Assembly polls, due in October 2019, will be advanced to coincide with the Lok Sabha polls.

To a question on UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s comments in Mumbai last month that the “Acche Din” slogan of the BJP would meet the same fate as its “Shining India” slogan in 2004, Shah said the former Congress chief had to say this as there was no “Acche Din” for her party.

“Acche din has come for those who benefited due to Modi’s welfare schemes. Nine crore people got Mudra Bank loans to start businesses,” he said.

On the rising petrol prices, Shah said the current prices were still lower than those during the UPA rule.

“The government is trying to reduce the prices. Efforts are on to bring petrol and diesel under the GST,” he said.

To a question on whether the BJP will make the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya an election issue in 2019, Shah said the manifesto of the party always mentioned the Ram Mandir.

“We do not make it an election issue. The Opposition does and we have no objection (to that),” he quipped.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.