With the signs of a nationwide Opposition unity against the Modi government emerging before Lok Sabha polls just a year away, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday said the only agenda of Opposition is 'remove Modi' while the prime minister only wants to remove corruption and poverty.
The remarks were reminiscent of Indira Gandhi's retort in 1971 general elections when her opponents, albeit from her own party, had joined hands against her.
Addressing the media on the fourth anniversary year of the Modi government in Centre, Shah also sought to dismiss the coming together of regional parties with the Congress saying that most of these parties have no relevance in other parties' region and they had separately fought against the Modi-led BJP even in 2014 polls.
Shah also refused to accept that the recent losses in the by-polls in different states are a threat to its performance in next Lok Sabha polls as the combined strength of the Opposition alliances in different states could not outweigh its performance.
"Byelections are different. It has different parameters from when people cast vote to form a government. It will be different when they cast to form a government led by Narendra Modi," Shah said.
The remarks come in the backdrop of the defeat of the BJP in recent by-polls for the Lok Sabha as well as Assembly seats in some states and the party staring at a tough contest in the upcoming by-polls in UP and Maharashtra.
"The Opposition wants to banish Narendra Modi. We want to banish misrule, poverty and corruption from the country under the leadership of Modi. The Opposition has only one agenda — banish Modi. Our agenda is to provide stability to the nation by banishing mismanagement, corruption and poverty," he said amid a perception in the party that the impression of everyone ganging up against Modi will end up helping the BJP.
"Woh kahte hian Indira hatao, main kahti hoon garibi hatao (They say remove Indira, I say remove poverty)," was Indira's retort to the "Indira Hatao" campaign by her rival Congress (O) led by K Kamaraj in 1971 Lok Sabha polls, in which she went to come to power with a massive mandate.
Shah also sought to counter the perception that allies are deserting NDA in the backdrop of the TDP severing ties with the alliance and Shiv Sena threatening to do so almost on a daily basis.
"If the TDP has left, Nitish Kumar's JD (U) is back in the NDA. NDA's family has grown," he said and flagged that Sena is still part of the alliance with BJP government both in Centre as well as in Maharashtra.