Don't be complacent: Modi to BJP MPs

Don't be complacent: Modi to BJP MPs

 After  hard lessons  in  Gujarat, the prime minister on Wednesday strongly warned his colleagues against complacency in the run-up to a series of state elections - including the one in Karnataka  - and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

In his first address to party MPs after the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh poll results, Narendra Modi asked them to keep  up with his pace of work  and work harder for results.

He asked them to work at the booth-level in their respective constituencies.

He favoured promoting young faces inside and outside the party.

His strong pitch for a greater role for the youth was seen as a counter to Rahul Gandhi assuming the leadership of the Congress party.

PM breaks down

An emotional Modi broke down at least thrice as he recounted his journey from his home state to the prime minister's office.

None of his predecessors had managed to secure victory in so many states within three years  of assuming office, Modi was quoted as saying by some MPs.

"This is a big victory. We are now ruling in 19 states. Even when Indira Gandhi was in power, the Congress was in power in only 18 states," Modi said, tracing the journey of the party from two seats in the Lok Sabha in 1984 to what it is today.  

Modi said the Gujarat victory had not come easily. "No one should be under the illusion that it was an easy win," he said.  The  prime minister also referred to Amit Shah's role in the victory.

He recalled how former  prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee patted him on the back when he was the in-charge for the state, after the BJP won a majority in Gujarat in the 1990s.

"Even the tallest leader feels the joy of victory if secured with hard work... Vajpayee patted me on my back and praised me for the number we secured," he said.

Modi  said though the  party had lost two strong leaders  - Keshubhai Patel and Shankersinh Vaghela - "we managed to win in Gujarat through the years. This proves that people will support you if you work with dedication".

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters that Modi urged party leaders not to be affected by the Opposition's "disinformation" campaign against the BJP.

In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a "laughable exercise" for the party to see victory in defeat.

Krishna hospitalised

Union Minister Krishna Raj fell ill during the meeting. She was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, where doctors attended on her.

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