Agartala: Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Saturday said the country’s defence and development will be the key focal issues of the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, terming the ‘grand alliance’ of opposition parties as leaderless and policy-less.
Shah’s remarks came a day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman put up a spirited defence of the government stand on the Rafale fighter jet deal in Loka Sabha, saying “Bofors had brought down the Congress and Rafale will return Prime Minister Modi to power”.
“As the Modi-led government has done a lot for all sections of people in the country and given priority to the nation’s security, our main poll plank in the general election would be development and the country’s defence,” Shah told the media after addressing a gathering of BJP’s grassroots functionaries of Tripura.
“After the Supreme Court verdict and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday, there is not an iota of doubt about transparency in the Rafale fighter jet deal,” he said, rejecting the opposition demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the deal.
“There is no leader, no policies, no vision and no unity about the so-called Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). During the 2014 polls, the National Democratic Alliance had 28 parties, now it has 40,” Shah said, adding the BJP and its allies would do much better than in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier while addressing the party’s grassroots functionaries (locally called as ‘Pristha Pramukh’ or ‘Panna Pramukh’) of Tripura, Shah said the Modi government conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control to avenge the killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan’s state and non-state actors.
“After the surgical strikes, India became the third country after the US and Israel to undertake such steps for the interest of the country’s soldiers,” he said.
He said the construction of Ram temple is also BJP’s priority.
Shah, who came here on a two-day visit to the party-ruled state, said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was accused of Rs 12 lakh crore corruption and “now they are maligning Modi and the NDA government with “self-created accusations” to get political mileage before the Lok Sabha polls.
To a question, the BJP chief said that out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, BJP would win 23 seats and that the Trinamool Congress would be voted out in the state.
The Saturday gathering was BJP’s first in Tripura and was attended, among others, by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, party’s northeast region in-charge and General Secretary Ajay Jamwal, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, party Secretary Sunil Deodhar, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath.