Praising Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah for the election victories in Uttar Pradesh and three other states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged party leaders not to be complacent after emphatic victory and work towards strengthening the party ahead of key elections in the next two years.
Modi was addressing the concluding session of the two-day national executive meeting of the BJP in Odisha's capital, Bhubaneshwar.
The prime minister's statement assumes importance as the saffron party prepares itself to fight the municipal elections in Delhi, before embarking on the crucial elections in prime minister's home state of Gujarat later this year.
In a bid to strengthen the party's grassroots level politics in east and south of India, Modi was quoted by ANI as saying, "The BJP will launch a special campaign for those 120 Lok Sabha seats which have been out of our reach."
Addressing party officials, Modi also took a dig at the Opposition parties for raking up the issue of EVM tampering. The prime minister is reported to have said that the Congress-led Opposition is hiding its failures behind the veil of EVM tampering.
Modi's comment comes just a day after party chief Amit Shah urged the opposition parties to "honestly" accept their defeat.
Slamming the Opposition for disruptive politics, Modi claimed that the Opposition parties have no issues to corner the government, so are churning out new issues ahead of the MCD elections. Modi reportedly said that even he does not know from which "factory" does the Opposition create new issues.
Modi also spoke on the sensitive issue of triple talaq and urged the party to reach out to grassroots levels to find a solution to the issue.
"Muslim women are facing difficulties on the issue of triple talaq. We should work for a solution at the district level," Modi said.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that the prime minister wanted no conflcit in the Muslim community over the issue of triple talaq.
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 16, 2017
Gadkari continued that Modi has urged the government to fight every kind of superstitious beliefs and deliver justice. NDTV reported that the prime minister said that party leaders must learn the "art of silence" while working hard.
The Union minister added that prime minsiter's speech revolved around "jan dhan", "jal dhan" and van dhan".
PM Modi's speech at National Executive Meet was also about Jan Dhan, Jal Dhan and Van Dhan: Nitin Gadkari, BJP pic.twitter.com/kB8ECAZcpy
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 16, 2017
This is closely related to the government's new motto: "pro-people", "pro-active" and "good governance," News18 reported.
Demonetisation also found a mention in Modi's speech with the prime minister calling the decision to invalidate old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 as a bigger success than the victory in Uttar Pradesh, where the saffron party won 312 out of 403 seats.
Invoking the mantra of "New India", Gadkari added that the prime minister wanted to boost India's socio-economic growth.
Gadkari said that Modi urged the government to work for the poor and ensure economic and social justice in the country.
The National Executive meeting in Odisha is significant as the saffron party is reportedly making a major push to come to power in the state after the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, buoyed by the good performance in the recently-concluded local body polls. In the current Assembly, the party has just 10 MLAs, while tribal affairs minister Jual Oram is the lone MP from the state.
Speaking at the meeting, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said on Saturday, "The trend available from the recent polls indicate that Modi will get more support of the people in the coming days. Therefore, the prime minister has decided to make Odisha a laboratory of welfare schemes for the poor."
After Odisha, Modi is scheduled to be in his home state Gujarat on a two-day visit. He will take party in a roadshow in Surat on Sunday evening before heading to Dadra Nagar and Haveli and parts of southern Gujarat on Monday.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Apr 16, 2017 19:08 PM