BJP president Amit Shah today cautioned party leaders against complacency, saying it is yet to reach the peak as he rolled out plans for its expansion in states where it has been traditionally weak. In his inaugural address at the BJP’s two-day national executive here, he also asserted that the party’s “golden era” would arrive when it rules across the country, from panchayats to Parliament. Laying down his ambitious growth plan for the party in south and eastern India, Shah rejected the contention that the saffron surge had reached its peak with its domination of central and west India and maiden wins in states like Assam and Manipur.
Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were in attendance as he asked the organisation to resolve for victory in the next round of assembly elections due in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, noting that a similar resolve was made last year during the national executive meeting in Allahabad for five state elections, including in UP. 13 chief ministers of the party, the most BJP has ever had, were also in the audience. Shah said he will spend 95 days touring the country to meet party leaders and workers and asked senior leaders and union ministers to give 15 days to strengthen the organisation while speaking about its growth prospects in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha.
“The BJP is yet to reach its peak. Its golden era will arrive when it rules from panchayat to assemblies across the country and Parliament,” he said. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad briefed reporters on his speech in a closed-door meeting of the party leaders. He, however, steered clear of recent controversial issues like killing of a man in BJP-ruled Rajasthan by cow vigilantes and deepening impasse in Kashmir, where his party is in power in partnership with PDP.
Prasad suggested that a reference to Kashmir may be made during the national executive. The party’s gold era, he said, will coincide with India’s golden era and it will emerge as a great nation in the world. The BJP’s massive wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have changed the experts’ definition of big victories, usually associated with two-thirds majority, as it won more than 75 per cent of seats as people have embraced “our politics of performance” and rejected opposition parties’ politics of brazen appeasement, rank family promotion and casteism, Shah said.
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The BJP has also disproved the claims that it can defeat the Congress but not strong regional parties by routing the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party in UT, he said. Shah said when the BJP won 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014, it was said that it was a “sudden” development but by sweeping the state in the assembly polls the party has proved that people have embraced it “decisively and whole- heartedly”. Its win in the state polls was due to the Modi government’s pro-poor and welfare policies, Shah said, reaffirming that the prime minister was the most popular leader since Independence.
Hitting out at the Left government in Kerala over the killing of the BJP and RSS workers allegedly by communist cadres, he said his party will continue to oppose it peacefully and ensure that the ‘lotus blooms’ there as well as Tripura, another Left-ruled state. The BJP national president said he would spend three days in Kerala as part of the organisational expansion drive. The Modi government, he said, has done more work in three years than other governments had done in two-three terms as he hailed its policies.