BJP national executive meet: Amit Shah calls Opposition unity 'eyewash', says Congress working on 'breaking India'

BJP chief Amit Shah touched upon a number of pressing issues, including the Kerala floods, arrests of 'urban Naxals,' and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in his address during the party's national executive meet on Saturday, party leader and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the media.

"(Shah) said that while the BJP focuses on 'Make in India,' the Congress is working on breaking India," Sitharaman said.

At the meet, 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" and working for "breaking India" in its frustration over electoral losses.

The BJP has often accused the Congress of hobnobbing with Naxals and being sympathetic to terrorists, a charge rejected by the Opposition party.

The BJP's rivals have been making "baseless" allegations against it over issues pertaining to Scheduled Castes, he said.

File image of BJP chief Amit Shah. News18

File image of BJP chief Amit Shah. News18

With many political watchers suggesting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may find it hard to repeat its 2014 feat, Shah said it will handily win in 19 states where it is in power and also emerge victorious in states such as West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana due to "anti-incumbency" factor against regional parties in power there.

The BJP chief also lauded the Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the arrests of 'urban Naxals' in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, she said.

Shah also termed talk of Opposition unity to take on the BJP as an 'eyewash' and an 'illusion.'

On the failed no-confidence motion against the central government initiated during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Sitharaman said, "Ordinarily, a no-confidence motion is initiated only if the government has lost its majority, or if there are large-scale protests against the government. Neither of these was the case. After we won the no-confidence motion comfortably, the Opposition started saying that they never claimed that the government lacked the numbers. This shows their disruptive politics."

Sitharaman further quoted Shah as saying that India has beaten France to take over as the 6th largest economy in the world. "The government has worked more for the financial inclusion of the backward and poor," she said. The defence minister also listed a number of measures taken by the government, including setting minimum support prices of some crops at 1.5 times the cost of production, and the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme.

On the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, she quoted Shah as saying that the government will implement it in a way that not even one new illegal migrant can enter India.

Shah also urged party workers to continue contributing to relief work in Kerala, Sitharaman said. "The BJP sent four trains full of relief material to Kerala," she added.

The BJP chief also took a dig at Congress leader and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who had recently said that the Modi government had failed on all fronts, saying that while Singh follows his party, Modi leads his.

Hitting back at former finance minister P Chidambaram over his criticism of the government's economic policies, especially demonetisation, Shah said over three lakh shell companies were shut down hampering black money operations and the numbers of income tax assesses have doubled.

The party president is also said to have urged workers to challenge "P Chidambaram and company" to a debate on the state of the economy, including issues such as the implementation of the GST.

While Amit Shah gave the inaugural address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled on Sunday to give the valedictory speech.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Sep 09, 2018 07:44 AM

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