Fiery Amit Shah says LS polls a battle of ideologies

Fiery Amit Shah says LS polls a battle of ideologies

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah. PTI File Photo

Sounding the poll bugle for 2019 with the ‘Abki Baar Phir Modi Sarkar’ tagline, BJP chief Amit Shah in his inaugural address at the BJP’s two-day national council meeting on Friday said it will be “Modi versus all” election. Slamming the proposed secular grand alliance as a grouping with no leader and ideology, he said the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be a war between ideologies.

At a time when Opposition parties are working on a nationwide grand coalition to take on Modi, Shah in his speech laced with pronounced Hindutva undertones, drew parallels with the third Battle of Panipat in which a “Hindu Maratha king was defeated by the King of Afghanistan backed by Indian Muslim rulers”.

He said that as the Marathas lost that battle in 1761 after having won 130 battles, “India became a slave for the next 200 years”.

“A similar war is being waged in 2019,” Shah said and underlined why it was so important for the BJP to win the next Lok Sabha polls.

“The 2019 Lok Sabha polls is an election for the stability of India. It is a very important election for both BJP as well as India. It is a battle of ideologies,” he said in his hour-long high-octane speech laced with hyperboles.

Interestingly in 2014, Congress had also projected the Lok Sabha poll as an ideological battle.

Shah gave a glimpse of the broad contours of BJP’s strategy for 2019 citing the Modi government’s recent decisions like providing 10% quota to the poor among upper castes, relief for traders under GST, surgical strikes against Pakistan, citizenship bill and NRC as key steps.

He also reiterated that BJP was committed to the construction of the Ram Temple at the same site through “Constitutional means” and accused the Congress of sparing no opportunity to delay a Supreme Court judgement on the case. The very mention of Ram Temple drew the maximum applause from BJP workers at the event as UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath looked on with a smile. Clearly, the audience wanted much more than what Shah said.

Even as the BJP has in last four and half years of the Modi government painstakingly attempted to shed its “Brahmin Baniya” tag, Shah made a fresh bid to reach out to them referring to the EWS quota decision and requested people with ‘folded hands’ to once again vote for Modi, telling them that the choice was between a majboor (helpless) sarkar being offered by the Opposition parties and a majboot (strong) sarkar that can only be provided by Modi.

Amid a view that BJP might find it difficult to repeat its 2014 Lok Sabha performance, Shah, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled Vajpayee’s model of a coalition government, did some pep talk saying that NDA with 35 allies was led by a leader like Modi while the other side has neither leader nor any policy (na neta hai, na neeyat hai.)