New Delhi [India]: Denying BJP’s hand in the violence during his roadshow in Kolkata, party president Amit Shah on Friday said it is the ruling party’s responsibility to “bring out” corruption embroiled within the Opposition.
“BJP workers did not provoke any violence. It is our responsibility to bring out the corruption that the Opposition has been embroiled in. If they name it lowering the bar of politics, it is incorrect,” Shah told reporters at a press conference held in the party headquarters, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an unprecedented action, the Election Commission on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to cut short the last phase of campaigning in West Bengal by a day after Shah’s roadshow took a violent turn.
During the mayhem, the bust of iconic social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised at a college named after him.
Questioning West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s silence in the murder of BJP workers in the state, Shah said, “80 BJP workers have been killed in one and a half years in West Bengal. What does Mamata Banerjee have to say about this? If we were responsible for this, why did violence not take place anywhere else?”
Responding to Opposition’s allegations that BJP was responsible for lowering political discourse during the Lok Sabha elections, Shah said it was “habitual” of them to speak in this manner, adding that they are “afraid” of being defeated.
Taking a jibe at the Opposition for its efforts of forming an anti-BJP front, Shah exuded confidence that the party will win over 300 seats and come to power for the second time.
“I would like to clarify that BJP will win over 300 seats. We have a pre-poll alliance. NDA government will be formed for the second time after elections. Let the Opposition form any alliances it can. Narendra Modi will be the Prime Minister again,” said the BJP chief.
“After May 23, our doors are open to others who believe in our agenda and ideology,” he added.
Modi, who addressed the first presser of his tenure, hailed the country’s “vibrant democracy.” He said that it is everyone’s duty to showcase the strength of this democratic system to the world.
“It should be a matter of appreciation for the world, the variations we have in our democratic system,” Modi said at his maiden press conference as the Prime Minister.
Modi termed the Lok Sabha elections “spectacular” and expressed confidence of coming to power again.
“In my opinion, our full majority government will return to power, such a thing will happen after a long time in the country. It will happen after a long time in the country,” he said.
Lauding the security forces for doing their task, Modi said, “In the last two general elections, even IPL couldn’t be held. When the government is strong, IPL, Ramzaan, school exams and others take place peacefully.”
“I am overwhelmed with the support that I got. I want to thank the people for all the love and support,” the Prime Minister said.
However, he did not take questions at the press conference, saying, “In BJP, the party president is everything.”
Meanwhile, Shah, while highlighting BJP’s prospects in different states, said, “We will perform well in North-East and we were very good in West Bengal. We will do good in Odisha and there will be an improvement in the number of seats in all states in the South. We will also improve (our tally) in Maharashtra.”
He reiterated that there is a “Modi wave” across the country and everyone is in favour of seeing Modi as the Prime Minister again.
“There is a Modi wave across this nation. Narendra Modi has been accepted by people and wants to see him as Prime Minister again. Everyone is safe under the leadership of Modi,” Shah said.
Claiming that BJP ran the most extensive campaign in the country’s political history, Shah said, “We started our election campaign from January 16… We are confident that we will receive good results.”
He said slogans like ‘phir ek baar Modi sarkar’, ‘Modi hai toh mumkin hai’ and ‘main bhi chowkidar’ were given by “common BJP volunteers” and not the top party brass.
Asserting that fruits of development reached all strata of society through various schemes and programmes, the BJP president said, “Under our government, 50 crore people were lifted out from poverty. We have initiated several schemes to uplift tribals, poor, women and farmers. We have provided gas connections, toilets and built houses for everyone.”
Shah claimed that inflation and corruption were not poll issues, which, according to him, was a first in the country’s history.
Elections to 59 parliamentary constituencies will be held on May 19 in the seventh and last round of general elections. Counting of votes for all 543 seats will take place on May 23.
In the 2014 elections, BJP had won 282 seats, while the Congress was reduced to its lowest ever tally of 44.