The saffron party, which is seeking a repeat of its stellar performance of 2014, seems to be making calibrated changes in the poll strategy. Ten per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections has been promised, Universal Basic Income for people living below poverty line is reportedly in the offing and Modi has ruled out an ordinance route for the Ram Temple, despite pressure by the RSS.
Projecting the Lok Sabha polls as a clash of ideologies and likening it to the third battle of Panipat between Marathas and the Afghan army, Shah had said the election results will be equally significant for the country.
He 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. The BJP must win the elections to pursue its agenda of cultural nationalism and the poor’s welfare, he said.
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”.
“Nobody other than Modi can give a strong government,” Shah said, adding that it will be an election to give stability to the country’s development and the party’s expansion.
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.
Underlining the election’s significance, he said battles are of different kinds; consequences of some are confined to win and defeated, of some others are felt for a decade of so while of some others are felt for centuries.
“I believe the 2019 battle is going to be like this,” he said, drawing a parallel with the third battle of Panipat. “This is an example in history which matches with the situation today,” he said, asserting that it is a must for the party to win the polls.