Millennium Post

Modi to again be BJP poster boy for LS polls

New Delhi: If there were any murmurs in political circles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's diminished clout within the BJP after its recent poll debacles in key heartland states all those speculations were laid to rest at the party's last big convention before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls on Friday.

BJP president Amit Shah's tone and tenor made it amply clear that Modi was the party's tallest leader and would continue to be its poster boy as it hopes to reclaim power later in a few months.

In his inaugural address at a party convention here, Shah dismissed the proposed grand alliance of opposition parties against the BJP as a "sham", saying they are a disparate group with neither a leader nor any policy and have been brought together by their greed of power.

By describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the "world's most popular" leader, Shah's message to the party rank and file was crystal clear.

In his speech, which lasted over an hour, Shah repeatedly emphasised the significance of the upcoming polls, stressed on a number of Modi government's measures- especially those related to security, curbing corruption and welfare programmes- and hit out at the Congress for its dare to target Modi on the issue of graft when its president Rahul Gandhi is on bail in a "case of corruption".

Opposition parties know that it is impossible to "defeat" Modi, who has emerged as the "nucleus" of politics like the Congress was for many decades, he said, claiming that people continue to stand behind the prime minister like a rock and that the BJP is sure to win under him.

Noting that from six states in 2014, when it came to power at the Centre, the BJP is ruling 16 states now, he said it would rule south India and form its government in Kerala if the Modi government is re-elected.

Amid a growing challenge from opposition parties and the BJP's defeat in the recent state polls, Shah sought to reassure the party cadres about its prospects in the general elections, saying he knew Modi since 1987 and not a single election has been lost under him.

He also claimed that the party is on its way to win more than 50 per cent votes in Uttar Pradesh, asserting the saffron alliance's tally will improve from the 73 seats it had won in 2014 out of the state's 80.

Meanwhile, in a departure from protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped down from the dais to interact with both party workers and media persons for more than 10 minutes, as the party chief finished his hour-long address.

Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, passed the party's agriculture resolution on the first day of BJP's National Council meeting on Friday. The resolution listed the Centre's achievements over the past five years and future roadmap.

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