Modi lauds historic Gujarat win, says no place for ‘shortcut politics’ in country

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New Delhi: Celebrating the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) historic win in Gujarat, and also in Assembly by-polls in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra said Thursday that his political adversaries would not be able to “digest” this success and that there would be “more atrocities” against him and his party workers.

He also sought to defend the party’s performance in Himachal Pradesh – BJP (25) lost to Congress (40) — saying the defeat was by less than one percent votes, unlike in the past when the difference would be of five to six percent.

Expressing gratitude to Gujarat for “creating a record in breaking records”, Modi said its people rose above caste, class, community and other divisive factors to vote for the party.

“BJP is capable of taking big and tough decisions for the welfare of the people. This time, Gujarat hugely responded to our spirit of development. I had urged the people of Gujarat to break the record of ‘Narendra’ for ‘Bhupendra’ and the people of Gujarat have done that and created history,” said PM Modi.

The BJP won its seventh straight election in Gujarat with 156 seats Thursday, improving its previous best of 127 in 2002 – the first election with Narendra Modi as chief minister. It also beat the Congress’ tally of 149 seats in 1985.

Modi also said that criticism had taught them a lot. “We have to look for things that can make us better. Julm badhne waala hai… mujh par bhi badhne waala hai aur aap pe bhi… ye sehan nahi kar payenge aur pacha nahi payenge aur uska jawaab humein apni sehan shakti se dena hai,” he added.

Addressing workers at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi Thursday evening, Modi thanked voters across the country for reposing their faith in the party. He applauded the voters in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who voted for the party in the by-polls.

The party won Rampur in UP — Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s fort — as well as Kurhani in Bihar, where it defeated the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance.

The Prime Minister said: “I bow before the people. Their blessings are overwhelming. BJP’s win in Kurhani is an indication of the future in the state.”

The BJP headquarters was filled with “karykartas”, waiting patiently for their leader amid chants of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Modi hai toh mumkin hai”.

The headquarters had been buzzing with BJP workers and leaders since Thursday morning. The workers celebrated the Gujarat victory by smearing colour on each other, but refrained from bursting crackers because of the acute pollution in the capital.

BJP leaders Meenakshi Lekhi, Vinay Goel, Sambit Patra, Gaurav Bhatia, Manoj Tiwari, Adesh Gupta, and Jitendra Singh among stood on the terrace of the building waiting for Modi to arrive.

He entered to the beat of drums, greeted BJP workers along with party chief J.P. Nadda, and waved from the terrace, flashing his signature victory sign. The headquarters reverberated with the chants of “Modi, Modi”.

Underscoring the fact that the party won with “vision and not dynastic politics”, the BJP leader took a dig at the Congress, saying the increased support for the BJP was a reflection of the people’s growing anger against “dynastic politics”.

Despite losing Himachal Pradesh, Modi said the party as well as the central government would continue to work for the state’s welfare.

He said never before had a party been defeated in Himachal Pradesh by such a small margin of vote share. Modi said while the BJP missed the mark by less than one percent, its “commitment for development would be 100 percent”.

“Even where the Bharatiya Janata Party did not win outright, the BJP’s vote share is testimony for the people’s affection for the party. I express my humble gratitude to the people of Gujarat, Himachal and Delhi,” Modi said.

Modi also said voters were aware that the country would always have to bear the brunt of “shortcut politics”. “The voter of the country today is quite aware and knows his own interests and disadvantages. The voter knows fully that the country will have to bear the resultant loss of shortcut politics. There is no doubt that everybody’s prosperity is assured if the country is prosperous,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi thanked the tribal and scheduled caste communities for reposing their faith in the BJP. “Forty seats are reserved for SC/ST in Gujarat, out of which 34 have been won by the BJP. Today, the tribal society considers the BJP as their voice. This change is being felt across the country,” he added.

The PM also warned his adversaries: “By increasing distance in the society, by creating new challenges before the nation, political parties who seek immediate benefits… the people of the country, the young generation of the country are watching and understanding you.”

Also read: 3 polls, 3 parties, 3 outcomes: Conclusive yet bittersweet for BJP, AAP & Congress


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