Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah today dubbed the victory of the party in the just- concluded Delhi civic polls as a “stamp of approval” for the Modi government, saying it would serve as the “foundation” for a BJP government in Delhi.
Shah also took a veiled jibe at Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal for his accusations of EVM tampering, saying the MCD poll victory of the saffron party had put an end to the “atmosphere of negativity and non- performance”.
The BJP won the MCD polls for the third consecutive term last month, securing 181 of the 270 wards in the city’s three municipal corporations and decimating the AAP and the Congress in the process. The polls were postponed in two wards due to the death of candidates.
“Our opponents were expecting the winning run of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi to come to a halt in Delhi, but due to the hard work and passion of the party workers, a massive victory was secured,” Shah told the party’s newly-elected councillors at a ‘Vijay Parv’ function at the Civic Centre here.
“Our main target was not the MCD polls. This victory has laid the foundation for the BJP to form the next government in Delhi,” he added.
Without naming any of the BJP’s opponents, Shah said the MCD poll victory of the saffron party had put an end to the “atmosphere of negativity and non-performance”.
“It has also finished the anarchy adopted (as a strategy) by some people to find fault in everything and the practice of offering excuses, despite their mandate to perform,” he added.
Praising the booth-level workers for bringing the voters to the polling booths, Shah said, “Kejriwalji alleged that the BJP won because of EVM tampering. If he wants to know the real reason behind this victory, he should meet our booth workers.”
Kejriwal had raked up the issue of “EVM manipulation” in the aftermath of the MCD polls, despite the Election Commission’s assertion that the electronic voting machines were robust and tamper-proof.
Shah reminded the new BJP councillors of the challenges before them.
“The new BJP team in the MCD needs to keep in mind that it is their responsibility to lay the foundation of the next victory in Delhi (Assembly polls) through their work,” he said.
Lavishing praise on Prime Minister Modi, Shah said the MCD poll verdict only reflected the public mood.
“People from all the states live in Delhi and the elections here are a referendum (on a political party’s performance). Delhi’s mandate is the country’s mandate and the people are with Narendra Modi,” he added.
Highlighting the role of Modi in fashioning the BJP’s spectacular victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Shah exhorted the new councillors to work with dedication to make Delhi a “model capital” in the world.
“In 2014, people blindly reposed their faith in the BJP and Narendra Modi. They did not impose their expectations on us. Over the last three years, our government has worked for farmers, poor and youth, besides making the Indian economy one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as Narendra Modi had promised when he was selected as the party’s prime ministerial candidate,” he said.
The BJP chief also took a dig at former prime minister Manmohan Singh without naming him.
“People did not have any great expectations. They simply wanted a prime minister who could speak. They were frustrated with a silent prime minister and wondered why nobody heard him speak on the international fora,” he said.
Giving credit to the people of Delhi for the party’s victory in the civic polls, he said the new councillors will have to work to bring about changes in the lives of slum- dwellers and transform Delhi into a model capital.
The programme, dedicated to the paramilitary and army personnel killed by Naxalites and militants recently in Chhattisgarh and Kashmir, was attended by senior BJP leaders including Union ministers Harsh Vardhan, Jitendra Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Vijay Goel, the party’s secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, the party’s Delhi in-charge Shyam Jaju among others.