Modi sounds 2019 poll bugle with 'Ajay Bharat, Atal Bhajpa'

Amit Shah says no one can remove BJP from power for next 50 years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah during party's national executive meeting in New Delhi | PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah during party's national executive meeting in New Delhi | PTI

The two-day national executive meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party ended with Prime Minister Narendra Modi coining a new slogan—Ajay Bharat, Atal Bhajpa (invincible India and firm BJP)—as the countdown for seeking a fresh mandate begins. He also made little of opposition unity saying, “We don’t see any challenge.” 

BJP chief Amit Shah followed Modi’s exhortation to say the party's victory in 2019 elections will ensure that no one can remove them from power for next 50 years. 

The main takeaway of the BJP meeting is laying out a strategy for 2019 polls where strong nationalism and development will be the twin themes which the party will be taking to the people. It was evident from Shah's statement on the National Register for Citizens (NRC) where he said illegal migrants will be detected, their citizenship deleted and they will be deported out of the country. This strong statement is set to make illegal migrants, mostly Muslims, one of the main theme for debate ahead of elections. He said even illegal Rohingayas were detected in all the cities and that the process of their deportation will start soon. This exercise is likely to increase polarisation as Shah added that Hindus, Sikhs and Christians who were forced out of the neighbouring countries will, however, be given Indian citizenship.

For the political outreach, Shah has set the target of reaching out to 22 crore families who have been the beneficiaries of various government schemes. Modi, who has already visited 300 Lok Sabha constituencies, will visit the remaining 240 before the next elections, reflecting the massive outreach planned by the party. If “India Shinning” was the slogan for NDA-I, catchy “Ajay Bharat, Atal Bhajpa” is the war cry for 2019.

At his speech at the end of the meeting, Modi made it clear that BJP will expose chinks in the opposition unity. “People who could not stand for each other were now forced to hug each other,” Modi said referring to different parties from different streams coming together to combat BJP. 

He singled out Congress for a scathing attack. The prime minister said even smaller parties were not ready to accept Congress's leadership in the opposition camp.  

“Those who are failure in government are also a failure in opposition. If discussions were based on the work done, then comparison of 48 years of one family with 48 months of our government will be talked about,” Modi said. He asked party leaders to evolve a strategy to counter the “lies” of the Congress.

“There were no leadership, no clear policy, but only corrupt intent,” Modi said referring to the opposition’s grand alliance.

Modi asked partymen to win each and every polling booth. “Polling booth was like an outpost which strengthens and protects the fort,” Modi said. 

Earlier Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented a political resolution highlighting the government's success in internal security.

Addressing the media, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said the political resolution talked about Modi's charismatic leadership combined with Shah's hard work, which led to BJP ruling in 19 states.

"Politically, after four years, the prime minister defies conventional political wisdom about incumbency by recording 70 per cent plus popularity ratings. No other Indian leader comes anywhere close to him. Since 2014, we have won elections in 15 states and lost in six. We are in power in 20 Indian states today while the opposition controls 10; Congress has its governments in three out of them. 60 per cent of India is ruled by BJP governments, besides the central government," the political resolution said.