On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the BJP is confident enough that they will do well in 2019 General Elections, despite the party’s recent loss in state assembly elections. In an interview on the New Year, PM Modi told the source that “there is no reason for low morale in the BJP. The BJP has confidence in the people and the people have confidence in the BJP.”
“In 2019, if there is one party which the country trusts and is connected with the people, it is the BJP,” said PM Modi in the same interview, where he has tackled criticism on the subjects that range from Demonetization and GST to the RBI Chief’s expel and the Rafale fighter jet deals.
Ignoring questions asked about BJP’s prospects following the setbacks in the recent Assembly Elections in the three heartland states of India- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, PM Modi said that there were a “set of persons” who echoed the same narrative even in 2014.
The Prime Minister of India further said that “People will decide if they want to support those who loot even if they come together. It will be janta (people) vs gathbandhan (alliance).”
PM Modi’s 95-minutes interview sets the tone for an election years after centre-ruling BJP lost three big states since he took power in 2014. The lost of BJP in all three election-bound states was considered a boost to the Congress, its allies and the opposition before the 2019 National Elections, scheduled on May.
“In Telangana and Mizoram, nobody gave the BJP any chance or even thought that we would form a government. In Chhattisgarh, a clear mandate was given, the BJP lost. But in two states there was a hung assembly. Fifteen years of anti-incumbency was being fought by our people. We are discussing what was lacking,” said PM Modi adding that winning or losing was not the only yardstick.
However, for the forthcoming national elections, PM Modi said that he has faith in country’s voters.
Over the opposition comments that “Modi wave is over”, he replied that “When they say this (Modi wave/Modi magic) …that means people are admitting Modi wave.”
He further said, “Experts will say all kinds of things, to defend their position and drive their narrative. But we should never underestimate the political understanding of the common man.”
Enquired if the elections were heading to US Presidential-style contest between him and Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi remarked, “I believe this election is going to be a contest between those who fulfill and take forward the aspirations of the people and those who stop these aspirations. There is an experience of 70 years. The public is the decider.”
Asked if the gathbandhan being discussed could be an alternative, PM Modi replied that “they still speak in different voices. Who are these people? They are looking for each other’s support to save themselves… They hold each other’s hand so that they are saved. That is the game.”
Mocking at Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, PM Modi said that the “first family” of India, which is out on bail and faces charges of financial irregularities. PM Modi continued that “the family that was once considered the first family of the country, that ruled the country for four generations, has to walk around on bail, that too on charges of financial irregularities. That is a big thing.”
When asked if the recent elections were proof that his party’s goal, PM Modi replied that “Congress-must (Congress-free) India” was not materializing, adding, “Even Congress people say Congress is a such (thought), a culture. That culture is casteism, dynastic politics, undemocratic, nepotism. Congress represents this culture. When I say Congress-mukt, I want to rid the country from this culture and this sort of thinking. And I have even gone to say that Congress too needs to be free of this Congress culture.”
On demands within BJP and form allies like Shiv Sena for an ordinance or special order to enable Ram Temple in the disputed site of Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it very clear that the decision cannot be made unless the judicial process is over. “Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts,” added PM Modi in a statement that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is BJP’s ideological mentor and has called “positive”.
He further tackled criticism of 2016 Demonetisation and said that it was “not a jhatka” that people were warned about depositing their black money or untaxed money.