Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called the BJP’s impressive performance in Tripura Assembly polls people’s answer to “fear, lies and confusion” being spread against his government, and targeted the Congress, saying it was never so diminished as a party as it is now. Addressing party workers at the BJP’s newly constructed headquarters following the announcement of results of polls in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, Modi also took an apparent dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying some people grow in designation but shrink in stature. In contrast, he said, BJP chief Amit Shah rose by leading the party to victories in many states. In remarks laced with sarcasm, Modi said he had recently told Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy that the Congress leader was lucky as he will soon become a “specimen of a Congress chief minister” as his party will be in power only in his state by June after losing Karnataka, which goes to the polls in April-May. Referring to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who heads the Congress government in the state, he said neither he nor they (Congress) consider each other their own. “He is a ‘swatantra fauji’ (independent soldier),” Modi said of Singh.
The prime minister said people of northeast had a sense of alienation but his government worked overtime to remove it. Central ministers have spent more nights in one of these states to deal with their problems in the last four years than they did all the years earlier, he said. “Fear, lies and confusion were being spread,” he said, an apparent reference to the opposition’s criticism of his government over a host of issues, and now people have answered it through their votes. Modi took a brief pause when there was a call for prayers from a nearby mosque, and also paid respects along with the audience to deceased party workers, allegedly victims of political violence, by keeping silence for a while. He was felicitated by senior party functionaries, including members of the BJP parliamentary board, headed by Shah.