Modi sets tone for 2019 polls, attacks Mahaghatbandhan

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New Delhi : Setting the tone for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday termed the proposed Mahagathbandhan a compulsion of leaderless grouping with BJP chief Amit Shah asserting that if the party succeeds in next general election, it would remain in power for the next 50 years.

In his concluding remarks on the last day of the BJP National Executive meeting here, Modi said that the BJP does not see "any challenge" and those who failed in government also failed in opposition.

He said the disparate parties coming together was a vindication of his government's success.

Modi evoked memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away last month and gave the call of "Ajeya Bharat" and "Atal Bhajapa."

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later briefed the media about Modi's remarks.

"Today, there is discussion about Mahagathbandhan. People who do not see eye to eye, who cannot walk together, who have no political or ideological understanding, who can't even tolerate each other are thinking of forging a Mahagathbandhan and embracing each other. It is the biggest vindication of our success," Prasad quoted Modi as saying.

"Mahagathbandhan -- its leader is not known, the policy is unclear and intention is corrupt. These are so powerful words of the Prime Minister...," Prasad said.

Referring to the Congress, Modi said that "nobody is prepared to accept its leadership. Even small parties are not willing to accept its leadership. Some treat it as a burden."

The Prime Minister said that there should be an effective opposition in a democracy for accountability.

Modi made veiled digs at Congress President Rahul Gandhi saying opposition parties were not prepared to accept Congress leadership, some even regarded it a burden and there was also a situation of the leadership not being acceptable within the party.

He accused the party of speaking "lies" and asked BJP workers to fight them while taking the work done by the government in last four years to the people.

Addressing the party workers, BJP President Amit Shah said the hard work of the Prime Minister and his dedication for the country has made him unbeatable.

"Modiji has not taken rest after the 2014 election. He has covered almost 300 Lok Sabha constituencies after becoming the Prime Minister and he will cover the rest of the parliamentary constituencies before the 2019 elections," he said.

"Our Prime Minister works tirelessly for the country. I am sure we will win in 2019 and will remain in power for next 50 years," Prasad quoted Shah as saying.

"The Congress came to power in 1947 and remained undefeated till 1967," he said adding that he was not saying this in arrogance but on the basis of government's performance.

The executive meeting also formed a strategy to reach out to every household involving its workers from booth level to national level and called upon party activists to work tirelessly to strengthen Modi's hands to turn the country into new India by 2022.

Shah also reviewed party's preparations for forthcoming assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh - where BJP is in power - besides Mizoram and Telangana.

The resolution adopted at the end of two-day meeting on Sunday noted that "urban Maoism was being curbed with an iron hand.

It expressed optimism of a 'Clean Ganga' by March next year and noted that "corruption, once endemic to Indian system, has largely disappeared" from public domain. It said the BJP will take steps to protect the interests of minorities who fled to India to seek refuge.

The BJP also passed a resolution hailing Modi and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for releasing the draft National Register of Citizens and vowed to deport every illegal refugee in India.