Amit Shah stirs controversy; likens Oppn parties to cats, dogs, snakes

Amit Shah stirs controversy; likens Oppn parties to cats, dogs, snakes

In a statement that is bound to generate political heat, BJP President Amit Shah on Friday likened Opposition parties to dogs, snakes, cats and mongoose.

"The countdown of the 2019 (Lok Sabha) election has begunOpposition parties are coming together against BJP. I had once heard, when there is a massive flood, trees and shrubs are washed away, but tall banyan trees survive," Shah said in reference to the political surge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.

"Then, snakes take shelter in the banyan tree, mongoose climb on it and so as dogs, cats, cheetahs and lions.because of the fear of the (flood) water below," Shah said addressing a mammoth rally at the MMRDA Grounds coinciding with the 38th foundation day celebrations of the BJP.

"Because of Modi (popularity) they are feared and the Opposition parties are teaming up like cats, dogs, snakes and mongoose to fight elections," he said.

Later, at a news conference at a nearby Sofitel Hotel, Shah tried to clarify his statement. "I have said in a different contextit was in reference to ideologies... I apologise if anyone is hurt I did not want to take names," he said.

However, he elaborated that what he meant was the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party coming together, Congress and TMC getting closer and Congress and TDP getting together.

It may be recalled, last month, former Congress President and ex-UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had hosted a dinner for Opposition leaders at her New Delhi residence. Also several Opposition leaders are meeting each other individually and collectively - as the next general elections approach.

At the rally, Shah also came down heavily on Rahul Gandhi, who in his rallies have been repeatedly asking for the performance card of the Modi government.

"Rahul are asking what Modi ji has done in the last 4 years...The country want to ask you....What your party did when it was in power for four generations," Shah said.
Referring to the recent loss in by-elections, Modi said: "You have won 2 seats, we have won 11 states."

Shah, a former Gujarat minister, said that the "golden period" of BJP is yet to come.
"We will win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections...We will in West Bengal and Odisha Assemby elections and return to power in Maharashtra...that would be the golden period," he said virtually kick-starting the campaign for BJP for 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mumbai.