New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday passed a political resolution and vowed to build a “New India” by 2022. Briefing the media, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee calling a powerful phrase in his honour, “Ajeya Bharat, Atal BJP”.
“PM Modi ji paid tribute to Atal ji and called a powerful phrase in his honour,’ Ajeya Bharat, Atal BJP’. An India which is not to be subjugated by anyone and BJP which remains firmly committed to its principle,” he said, adding it will be the slogan for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh passed a political resolution which praised PM Modi’s ‘Vision 2022’ , and talked about ‘New India’ and a ‘poverty-free India’ where no one will be left shelterless.
Giving details about the developments that took place in the meeting, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that party leadership discussed the works done in the 19 BJP-ruled states. He further exuded confidence that the party will return to power in 2019 with a bigger majority.
The prime minister is expected to touch on various issues including the ongoing fuel price hike and the party’s strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Top party leaders, including PM Modi and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, were in attendance on Saturday as party president Amit Shah, in his inaugural address, launched an all-out offensive against opposition terming the proposed “maha-gathbandhan” (grand alliance) of the BJP’s rivals as an “illusion” and “eyewash”, and accused the Congress of “breaking India”, while the Narendra Modi government worked for “making India”.
Such an alliance would make no difference to the BJP’s fortunes and the party’s win in 2019 was certain, he said, adding that it would return to power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and emerge victorious in Mizoram and Telangana.
The BJP will win in all the 19 states where it is in power and will also do well in the Opposition-ruled states due to anti-incumbency, Shah claimed.
Claiming that party would return to power in 2019 with a bigger mandate than what it got it 2014, Shah accused the Congress-led Opposition of practising the “poisonous” politics of caste, appeasement and malice against the Modi government, even though they had been facing defeats in elections.
Shah also touched on the issues of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the “triple talaq” bill, while making a passing reference to the rivals’ attack on his party over Dalit issues, but avoided the topic of fuel price rise and the reported anger of the upper castes over the BJP’s support to pro-Dalit laws.
Not a single infiltrator will be allowed into India, he said, noting that the party had been consistent in its support to the NRC, with its national executive making a mention of it as many as nine times in the past.
Shah sought to build a narrative about his party around the theme of development, especially targeting the poor, and nationalism, while painting the Opposition as those sympathising with “urban Naxals”.
The Opposition was standing “shamelessly” with those accused of conspiring to kill Prime Minister Modi, giving financial assistance to Naxals and buying weapons, he said, in his first comments on the recent arrest of certain activists for allegedly hobnobbing with Maoists.
Shah praised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was present at the meeting, for the police action against the activists.
“People will never forgive it (Opposition) for this crime,” he said, according to an official statement.
The meeting is being held at Ambedkar International Centre, which works to promote the works and ideas of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar. The BJP has given meeting venue place a theme of “Sadaiv Atal”, in the memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away last month.
The meeting comes against the backdrop of signs of unrest among upper castes, a core support base of the saffron party, over its push for pro-Dalit laws to woo the backward community.
The BJP will have to do a balancing act as groups claiming to represent the upper castes, its core vote bank, have been protesting the government’s decision to restore the original and stringent provisions of a law on atrocities against Dalits and tribals, after the Supreme Court had relaxed those. The groups had called a “Bharat Bandh” Thursday.