After Oppn's show of unity, Modi sets the ball rolling for 2019 polls

After Oppn's show of unity, Modi sets the ball rolling for 2019 polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP/PTI File Photo

After the Opposition's show of unity to unseat his government in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got the BJP to go to town with a new campaign to mark his four years in office and work for a fresh mandate.

Sensing trouble, Modi's approach is to counter the perception about the unfolding situation in different sectors, including rural India, to match up to the re-energised narrative of the Opposition parties following the success of the Congress and the JD(S) in forging an understanding to govern Karnataka.

The 'Saf Niyat - Sahi Vikas' (clean policies for right kind of development) campaign will be more on things being done by his government at the bottom of the social pyramid - for Dalits, tribals, OBCs, farmers, women and the poorest.

Countering the Opposition's blistering criticism that his tenure was an all-round failure and chaos, Modi will seek electors' support on the basis of what he calls the "48 months of transformation" under his government.

Outlining Modi's plan, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday led a team of Union ministers, including four senior ministers - Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman - in an interaction with editors where nine focus areas were showcased as a proof of what the government has done.

Work done in these areas will also form the thrust of Modi's rally in Cuttack, Odisha, on May 26 to mark the fourth anniversary of his government. Union ministers and BJP leaders will hold meetings and rallies between May 26 and June 11.

These nine areas are seen as distinct sectors where Modi feels confident that "tangible" benefits that are accruing on account of various government initiatives will see a favourable acclaim from the voters, notwithstanding what surveys say.

The prime minister has directed the BJP to talk on his government's "multi-faceted focus" on doubling farmers income - per drop more crop, soil health, and value addition.

For the middle-class voters who had overwhelmingly chosen Modi over other leaders, the prime minister wanted the BJP to defend demonetisation against the backdrop of stringent action taken against black money hoarders.

In a special presentation, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Good governance with good intention is the hallmark of our government as the PM has often said. We have sought to reform, perform and transform."

BJP chief Amit Shah said his party would approach the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as well as the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan later this year on the basis of "our performance."

Home Minister Rajnath Singh held that the Centre wished well for the new government in Karnataka and hoped it would be a stable one.