Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Sunday claimed the “grand alliance” of Opposition parties was “breaking India”, while the Narendra Modi government was working towards “making India”. Shah said the Opposition’s alliance neither has a policy, nor does it have a leader or principles.
“Modi says remove poverty, unemployment, insecurity... but Mahagathbandhan leaders say remove Modi,” Shah said at a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha national convention in Hyderabad. His comments come in the backdrop of the Opposition’s efforts to put up a united front against the BJP before the Assembly elections in five states in November-December and the General Elections in 2019.
Shah said the BJP would return to power with more than 50% votes in the General Elections and the grand alliance will not make any difference to the party’s prospects. He said the BJP was going to the polls on the plank of development, while the Opposition’s agenda was only to bring down the BJP.
Shah said Congress President Rahul Gandhi is “dreaming of coming to power”. “But the alliance partners Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and others are not keen on projecting him as the prime ministerial candidate,” The Hindu quoted Shah as saying. “A section of Congress leaders themselves is of the opinion that he is not prime minister material.”
Taking a dig at Gandhi, he said the Congress president had to “look at the country’s map using binoculars to search for the states where his party is in power”, the Hindustan Times reported.
Commenting on Assam’s National Register of Citizens, Shah said once the BJP is re-elected in 2019 elections, the government will initiate the process of evicting undocumented immigrants, PTI reported.
At the same convention, Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh appeared to make a joke about India’s #MeToo movement while warning political parties not to form an alliance with the Congress. “Let’s hope all opposition parties don’t form an alliance with the Congress only to be betrayed later,” Singh said, according to NDTV. “They might be forced to start their own #MeToo campaign against the Congress.”
‘You people have no space here’: Kerala CM tells Amit Shah
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday criticised Shah for claiming that BJP workers would uproot the Left Democratic Front government if it continued to arrest Ayyappa devotees who have been protesting a Supreme Court order lifting a ban on women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the Sabarimala temple.
“The godfather of the BJP was heard saying that they will pull down the Kerala government,” Vijayan said at a public meeting in Palakkad, IANS reported. “His physique, which is made up of only water, won’t be enough to do that. It is best if he does all this in Gujarat.”
Vijayan said despite all the tricks, Shah and the BJP had not been able to get a foothold in Kerala. “You came with huge expectations and conducted a yatra here but in the end you had to run away. You people have no space here,” the chief minister added.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged the Supreme Court to take cognisance of Shah’s statement against its verdict. Kejriwal claimed Shah was creating anarchy by “actively encouraging people to violate” Supreme Court orders.
Pointing to court verdicts on Tamil Nadu’s bull-taming sport jallikattu and the prohibition of loudspeakers at mosques, Shah had said on Saturday that the courts should not make “impractical decisions” but pass orders that governments can implement.